Scottish Independence Vote Tallying Method Amuses Chinese Netizens

UK vote counting involves lots of tally marks.

Yesterday (19th in China, 18th in the UK) was the Scottish Independence Referendum, and this microblog post managed to make it into the Top 10 most popular posts on Chinese microblogging social network Sina Weibo…

From Sina Weibo:

@英国那些事儿: Live BBC broadcast of a polling station… it must be a real pain to count up votes for British people who don’t know how to write “正”… #Scotland Independence Referendum#

UK vote counting involves lots of tally marks.

Note: 正 is the Chinese/Asian tally mark. It has five strokes, so each 正 represents a set of five.

Comments from Sina Weibo:


The country that needs voting the least invented the most convenient vote counting method [referring to China where there is no voting and the 正 tally mark method].


With this kind of intelligence, what’s the point in seeking independence…


Even if they knew how to use the 正 tally mark, they wouldn’t know how to use multiplication… Better stick to using calculators, thanks.


I once did an investigation/experiment →_→ The teacher [probably referring to a foreign teacher] saw me tallying with 正 and thought it was really magical and smart…


Chinese people count/tally things in a smarter way. It’s just that the vote isn’t in the people’s hands.


Why don’t they use a [ballot that can be automatically counted, such as an “optical answer sheet“]? Marking it with a pencil for a machine to count them would be much more reliable than the people of the “Rotten Country”.

[Note: 腐国 fuguo, literally “rotten country”, is a humorous Chinese internet nickname for the UK, referring to Chinese perceptions of British homosexual culture (often specifically in pop media culture). The term is related to another Chinese internet slang term, 腐女 funv, literally “rotten women”, that was adapted from the Japanese term ふじょしfujoshi and refers to women who enjoy “boys love” manga/anime featuring homosexual love stories between males.].


“Hey, is this mark a tally mark or just a mark from my pencil just now?”


You may know how to write [tally with] 正, but have you ever voted…?


My god, come on, these little lines are too primitive, so easy to miscount! Could you not have changed it to a 10×10 grid that you check off?!


Four vertical marks and one horizontal mark would be the proper way of doing it…


Written by Fauna

Fauna is a mysterious young Shanghainese girl who lives in the only place a Shanghainese person would ever want to live: Shanghai. In mid-2008, she started chinaSMACK to combine her hobby of browsing Chinese internet forums with her goal of improving her English. Through her tireless translation of popular Chinese internet news and phenomenon, her English has apparently gotten dramatically better. At least, reading and writing-wise. Unfortunately, she's still not confident enough to have written this bio, about herself, by herself.


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