Who the hell is Mr. Yew


It was drilled into me in my high school days whilst studying Classical Chinese…

The hero of the Three Kingdoms Era, Zhuge Liang(諸葛亮): Zhuge(諸葛)is the family name and Liang(亮)is the given name.  He is otherwise referred to by his courtesy name(字), Kongming(孔明).  Therefore, he can be referred to as Zhuge Kongming(諸葛孔明), but never as Zhuge Liang Kongming, which is simply not done.  He is also often referred to as the Prime Minister(丞相).  Although there were many with that job title, including Zhuge’s arch-nemesis, Cao Cao, the historical convention demands that Zhuge has the first right of refusal on the title of the Prime Minister in the historical literature.

It pains me, therefore, to see the late Mr. Lee Kuan Yew referred to as Mr. Yew.  Sometimes even by the Chinese people.


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