A recent report about Ig Nobel – a parody of the
Nobel Prizes by the scientific humor magazine, Annals of Improbable Research – in a Beijing-based newspaper even used Jiong Science as a headline to describe quirky research on such questions as, does drinking coca cola kill sperm and why do people pick their nose. A cartoon of a robot carrying test tubes and wearing a Jiong face, won over many readers.
But despite its popularity, 90 percent of Chinese can’t pronounce this character, according to an online survey. It is believed 囧 is inspired by the shape of a window and the fact that a window lets in light and hence, brightness. No one is sure how this ancient character has come alive to gain increasing popularity in today’s life.
So says an October 27, 2008 China View report.