Mar 29, 2006

An exercise in parsing Chinese clothing



What exactly does it say on the back of this girl's jacket? I've pondered it for days. As best as I can tell, it says either "Go TH ING", "Gothing", or "Go Thing". Let's analyze the potential of each case.

"Go TH ING"

  • ING is a Dutch insurance conglomerate. "TH" usually means "Thailand". This could be a promotional jacket in support of ING Funds Thailand, similar to saying something like "Let's go Raiders!"

"Gothing"

  • As a verb, "gothing" could mean to be a "goth poseur", that is, someone dressing like a goth who clearly is not. Maybe the girl is making a political statement against goth fashion.
  • "Gothing" is also a surname. This jacket could come from a fashion designer that prefers to use three lines to spell out his brand name.

"Go Thing"

  • "Go thing" could be a combination of the phrases "you go girl" and "miss thang", a new ultra-hip way of telling a female friend, "You're better than everyone else, and you've done the right thing." This phrase would be especially clever because it's contradictory. "You go girl" is used in a positive, encouraging sense, while "miss thang" is a negative description of someone.
  • In the simplest case, "go thing" could just mean "a thing that goes", however nonsensical that sounds.

As one final possibility, I concede that it could be a case of someone having randomly arranged letters on a piece of clothing for aesthetic value. But how often does that happen in China?






3 Comments:

Blogger absolutED said...

not sure if it's meant to have any meaning at all. just like those non-sense chinese character tattoo....

http://www.hanzismatter.com/

11:54 PM  
Anonymous cprent said...

Eric,
When I saw your blog, I saw,
Got Hing! So I googled the word Hing and came up w/ the following:

Definitions of Hing on the Web:

Also known as asafoetida, and devil's dung. A light brown resin sometimes used as a substitute for garlic and onions, or in its own right and not as a substitute for anything, it can be found in Indian groceries. Claimed properties: laxative, aphrodisiac, colic cure. A required ingredient in the Indian Tadkaa - the small amount of oil used to roast mustard seeds and similar other ingredients before adding them to the main dish.
Who knew the Chinese were so versatile with their lingo!! Keep up the great writing...Love it! A/C

2:29 PM  
Blogger aljensen said...

Learning Chinese is more important now than ever. Let's take a look at www.zhongwenred.com. It has everything you need to start exploring the Mandarin language today - and it is absolutely free!

10:15 AM  

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