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潜规则 - correct expression?


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I just heard this expression meaning that someone is trying to circumvent the rules by going through the backdoor. Is this what it means?

Is it the correct first character?

Is it not politically correct to employ it in conversations in China?

Thank you to anyone responding.

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The way that Wu Si employs it, it's a noun that means a set of unwritten rules.

The way the entertainment press commonly employs it, it's a verb meaning "taken to the casting couch." The last section of the Wikipedia entry is how it's used most often talking about celebrities: “某某曾被某人潜规则” - "someone was required to put out in order to get a role."

It's an interesting transformation. Both uses are common on the mainland.

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It loosely translates to 'secret guideline'. The first time I saw this, it was in the entertainment news talking about an actress, who claimed she had to sleep with renowned directors to be given roles in movies, and so did others. It's an unwritten rule known in the showbiz. Sister Lotus (Furong Jiejie) was 'regulated' too, sadly, though she has now officially quit the entertainment industry.

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