Friday, 2 September 2011

Short Form English HK Style

GLA magazine... what does that mean?
Hong Kong people have a tendency to shorten words to make them easier for them to pronounce or remember. They can speak a string of acronyms but ask them to explain and they could be at a loss for words.

There's a story that trendy fashion label French Connection got its cool name FCUK when in 1997 the Hong Kong office sent a fax saying FCHK to FCUK. After that the name stuck for obvious shock reasons which is why the name is now emblazoned on T-shirts and results in second looks.

The actress Maggie Q whose real name is Margaret Denise Quigley, made her big break in Hong Kong thanks to Jackie Chan seeing her in Gen-Y Cops and got her cast in Manhattan Midnight and Rush Hour 2. Her name was shortened to Q because no one in Hong Kong apart from those who had studied overseas could pronounce her name.

And now we have this magazine called GLA, short for Glamorous. It's originally a Japanese magazine called Glamorous, but probably the Hong Kong marketers of the magazine thought the adjective was too much of a mouthful for locals to pronounce and shortened it to GLA.

How much lazier are they going to get? They're already calling Chief Executive Donald Tsang Yam-kuen "CE" -- heck even his license plate says that too.

But do we have to shorten every single word just to make it easier for people?

Pretty soon English is just going to be a string of letters that make no sense.


  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  2. yes we are getting more and more lazy -not just in hongkong . it is all over the world -in every country. just look at the computer language for example.