A danger of focusing solely on PR

有名無実
yuu.mei.mu.jitsu

Literally: exist – name – no – fruit / substance / truth

Alternately: Something’s substance doesn’t match its reputation. Well-known but unable to deliver. For example, when you have laws on the books designed to protect people from abusive corporations and systemic inequality, but your attorney general is too bigoted to enforce them – this phrase is often used in reference to unenforced laws and extant but inactive organizations.

Notes: Apparently some people write yuumei as homophone and near-synonym 勇名, but this is considered an error.

This compound comes to us from the Guoyu (國語, in Japanese Kokugo), a Chinese 4th-century BCE collection of speeches. As such, it’s also sometimes given a Japanese reading as 名有りて実無し (na arite jitsu nashi).

YuuMeiKitaChou

Image from a Korean news agency – so yeah, you can use this to throw shade at people too.

About Confanity

I love the written word more than anything else I've had the chance to work with. I'm back in the States from Japan for grad school, but still studying Japanese with the hope of becoming a translator -- or writer, or even teacher -- as long as it's something language-related.
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