Guo Fen

Guo fen (过分) is one of my favorite Chinese words.  The first character means 'to surpass' or 'exceed.' The second character means 'points (as in a competition or a test).  When the two characters are put together they form a word that means 'excessive / undue / overly.'  It's a good translation for the word 'hype.'

Guo fen has been since skaters won the gold and silver in pairs skating at the Olympics yesterday.  You think NBC or American TV in general are masters of hype?  You ain't seen nothing!!!

Since the medal ceremony about 24 hours ago, the Olympics coverage on CCTV (China Central Television) has gone something like this:

Look at those wonderful Chinese skaters receiving their medals and listening to "March of the Volunteers" (Chinese national anthem).

Now let's watch a documentary on the lives of the skaters.

Now let's have an intereview with the skaters.  "How do you feel right now?"  (reporters who ask such questions, in any language, should  be sent packing).

Now let's watch a replay of the winning performances.

Now let's watch a replay of the medal ceremony.

Now let's talk about how this shows that China is a great country.

Now let's watch a replay of the winning performances.

Now let's watch the skaters eating jiaozi in the CCTV studio. 

Now let's watch a documentary on the lives of the skaters.

Now let's watch a Chinese skier come down the hill.

Now let's watch a replay of the winning performances.

Oh look!  It's a Chinese speed skater.  See her go.

Now let's watch a replay of the winning performances.

Now let's talk about how this shows that China is a great country.

Oh look!  It's a Chinese snowboarder coming down the hill.  Cool.

Now let's watch a replay of the winning performance.

Oh look!  It's a Chinese curler! 

Now let's watch a replay of the winning performance.

                …….and on and on and on it goes.

CCTV sent a team of hundreds to cover the Games, and now they're stuck twiddling their thumbs.

Don't get me wrong, I love the fact that the Chinese skaters won.  I was watching yesterday and cheering them on with the 1.3 billion people around me.  They're great skaters with a great story and Chinese today have a right to be excited and proud. 

But this has become tai guofen (way over the top).

Enough!  Bring on the skiing!!