[ 2008-06-16 17:21 ]
Are you a diaist?
Recently, the Chinese word "dia" made it into the Oxford English Dictionary Online, joining Wiki and Google as words appearing regularly in popular culture.
Pronounced in its pinyin form, the word makes sense to most Chinese people.
As a noun, it refers to someone who speaks and acts in such an over gentle way that others can't resist feeling charmed, or, frightened. As an adjective, it describes the extremely gentle quality of one's tone or actions.
The word originated in Shanghai in the first half of the 20th century. It is believed that "dia" was derived from the English word "dear".
When Shanghai people first embraced "dia" in their everyday talk in 1960s, a Shanghai newspaper launched a series of debates over it.
Conservatives held that "dia" described a woman who intentionally (故意地) plays up her feminine character to allure (引诱) men. They saw it as a negative word. However, others argued that the word could be used in a positive sense and should be accepted.
Now, the word can mean "good" or "wonderful", although it more often emphasizes a woman's appearance and inner qualities.
diaist: n. 嗲人
diaistic: adj. 嗲的
superdiaistic: adj. 超级嗲的
over diaistic: 过于嗲的
（来源：21世纪英文报第747期 中山大学通讯员陈萌供稿 英语点津 Annabel 编辑）