Latest News:  

English>>China Society

Manhole covers spell trouble

(Global Times)

13:14, April 18, 2013

A manhole cover inscribed with incorrect Chinese characters on a street in Dashilan, Xicheng district. Photo: Li Hao/GT

Dashilan residents have called for nearly 100 manhole covers on local streets inscribed with incorrect Chinese characters to be replaced, claiming the gaffe tarnishes the ancient neighborhood's image.

An official with the Daishilan management committee, who requested anonymity, said that it had contacted the company responsible for the manhole covers to investigate the matter.

The phrases "qianlong jiashen" and "guiyue chongxiu," which respectively refer to reign of the Qianlong Emperor (1735-96) and the blossoming period of osmanthus flowers, are incorrectly engraved in traditional Chinese characters as "qianlong jiazhong" and "guiri chongxiu."

The imperial-style manholes in Guanyinsi Jie, Xicheng district, were unveiled in 2009, although the spelling mistake was only reported by local media on Tuesday.

Lai Yang, a folklore expert, said "jiashen" and "guiyue" are terms most commonly associated with the lunar calendar. "Qianlong jiashen" refers to a period of 60 years, while "guiyue" refers to the eighth month of the lunar calendar.

"The inscriptions on the manhole covers are definitely wrong, but maybe those responsible for their construction can offer an explanation," Lai told the Global Times.

Dozens of people at Guanyinsi Jie, including tourists and local business owners, on Tuesday vented their annoyance at the blunder.

Meng Jie, who has run a shoe store on the street for 10 years, said she didn't notice the incorrect usage of the characters until she was alerted by this week's media reports.

"It's so shameful. How can they make such a mistake? They just made the manholes without even thinking," she told the Global Times.

Meng added the manhole covers were replaced four years ago to give Dashilan, one of Beijing's oldest neighborhoods, an imperial makeover.

Another store owner, Li Pan, said that the local government had been irresponsible not to identify the erroneous manholes before they were unveiled.

"The characters are difficult to notice because they are too small. Most people don't understand what the phrases mean, therefore can't tell that they are wrong," said Li.

A tourist from Taiwan, surnamed Chang, immediately identified the mistake when asked to look at the manhole by the Global Times.

"I know the manholes aim to have antique appeal, but it's hard to notice," Chang said.

The anonymous official did not set a deadline for when the manholes would be replaced, saying she has so far been unable to contact the local construction department responsible for the project.

Latest development of H7N9 in China[Special]

We Recommend:

Sparking youth: Life of post-1990s models

The job of building heavenly homeland

Photo story: A family infected by HIV

Roads swallowing lives in many cities of China

Fly into sky: A day of an airline captain

China's weekly story (2013.3.29-4.7)

Incredible inventions by Chinese

Dangerous moment at Drum Rickshaw Race

'Nail house' remains on C China construction site

Email|Print|Comments(Editor:HuangJin、Gao Yinan)

Leave your comment0 comments

  1. Name


Selections for you

  1. Naval taskforce training in west Pacific Ocean

  2. Chinese navy conducts live-ammunition fire drill

  3. Funeral of Thatcher at St. Paul's Cathedral

  4. Test processes of H7N9 suspected case

  5. Bear bile industry gets bitten by legal action

  6. Visiting inmates with AIDS

  7. 5th Changlong Miss Bikini Competition kicks off

  8. Gymnastics titbits: beautiful phantoms

  9. Poultry industry under pressure

  10. Sino-Gulf FTA 'may be signed this year'

Most Popular


  1. Terrorism knows no boundaries
  2. Asia to pull through the high-risk period
  3. Austerity: Why a simple idea isn’t so simple after all
  4. US 'pivot' policy destabilizing Asia-Pacific region
  5. Quick Comment: 3 meanings of Boston blasts
  6. Great wisdom needed to push Sino-US ties
  7. China Q1 'sound' despite slower growth
  8. Key lessons to improve fiscal transparency
  9. Triple blasts rock Boston, triggering fears of terror
  10. Who makes the massive immigration fraud?

What’s happening in China

A father posed nude at an art studio, to raise money for his children's medical expenses

  1. Poultry farmer's hard decade from SARS to H7N9
  2. 8 children injured in S China escalator accident
  3. Bear bile industry gets bitten by legal action
  4. Beijing cabbies fear loss of business
  5. Authorities test family infected by H7N9