Hong Kong government poster

Language Log 2019-09-13

From Donald Clarke:

This poster from Hong Kong is supposed to be 'loving' and 'tender', personally I think it looks menacing, like an image from a Japanese horror movie! Even the lighting and colour palette is depressing! pic.twitter.com/bbURNFLMYM

— PatrickSFord (@ps_ford) September 13, 2019

The large characters at the bottom say:

Zhēnxī Xiānggǎng zhège jiā 珍惜香港這個家 ("Cherish Hong Kong, this family")

Don remarks:

I think the tweeter is right – this is not a visual that evokes warm and fuzzy feelings. I thought you might want to comment on the font, which seems spectacularly ill chosen for this purpose. It seems very aggressive. They should have used a sans serif font – something like this: 珍惜香港這個家. What they have reads like a sergeant-major barking orders at you. My guess is that nobody gave the question of font style any consideration.

It's almost incredible that the government produced this poster as a public service announcement to help heal the wounds of troubled Hong Kong.  The comments to the Tweet give some insights into how it happened.