Of Forests and Graves

28 Jun 2016

How do you turn a forest into a grave? Check out this innovative ad I spotted on the Shanghai Metro:

Untitled

The (altered) character is , meaning “forest.” The text below it reads:

如果没有了树森林将变成坟墓

In English:

If the trees all disappear, forests will turn into graves.

To understand the message, you have to know that the character , meaning “forest,” is made up of three , which each mean “tree.” And does indeed look like a little cross when you take away the two diagonal strokes.

Part of what makes this interesting to me is that crosses are, of course, not a feature of Chinese graveyards at all. Here’s a picture of a Chinese cemetary:

Graveyard.

Still, innovative ad that drives the point home. Well done.

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John Pasden

John is a Shanghai-based linguist and entrepreneur, founder of AllSet Learning.

Comments

  1. Björn Wollschläger Says: June 29, 2016 at 8:30 pm

    Here is another simple but fun characterplay:
    http://imgur.com/9xd8H7u

  2. i like that this rhymes, as does björn’s example!

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