Along with the new products, modes of behavior, and economic relations that followed China’s access to the World Trade Organization (WTO) in 2001, came the introduction of new words in everyday language. The new vocabulary, which is largely comprised of compound terms imported from new-found economic realities, television, and videogames, can be
understood as expressing the impact of economic change on the culture. Indeed, few of these new terms would have meaning without the cultural changes following China’s entry into the global economy: Ru-shi, for example, means ‘‘to enter the world or join the WTO.’’ Another new word, PK, meaning ‘‘to kill each other off or compete,’’ is borrowed from an online video game. And chaonu¨, or Supergirl, is lifted from a talent show that mimics ‘‘American Idol.’’ Without China’s integration into the global economy, words such as these would lack context and purpose.