Lost or Stolen? What’s the difference?

Well, it has always felt a bit like blaming the victim, but whenver something is stolen one uses the word 丢 diu, ‘lost’. I read something by an eccentric who wishes the comment to remain anonymous * that has helped me understand the phrasing and one aspect of life in general here in the developing world:

It’s tacitly assumed that if you care about your stuff, then you’ll do whatever it takes to hang onto it. If it gets stolen, then it’s your fault for not taking proper care, and if you report the theft, you will be considered a fool.

I think I’ll leave it at that lest this turns into a long, meandering tract of rubbish with disconnected chunks of Whorf, iconicity, and relativism.

*probably until he sells the rights to his memoir


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