Hot words on the Internet don’t stay hot for long. “Geili” and “fuyun”, last year’s biggest linguistic innovations, are practically prehistoric in Internet terms. What’s buzzing now is “hold steady”.
The term comes from a segment on the Taiwanese TV show University which features Miss Lin (Xie Yilin) giving a lecture on how to behave like a fashion queen at parties or on the bus.
The hilarious lecture is mainly an over-the-top mockery of the fashion world, but Miss Lin makes a point: We need to hold steady in pressure-filled or embarrassing situations.
Holding steady, Internet slang for “staying poised”, is one of the qualities the public has been looking for lately as pressures on marriage, work and money can easily drive people crazy.
The quality was demonstrated by a girl named Su Miaoling this year. The contestant in the TV singing competition Super Girl carried herself with an air of confidence onstage and kept her cool when others got agitated.
"I like your poise. Very few contestants on this stage can keep composure like you do,” said one of the show’s judges, Hu Haiquan, to Su. Internet users dubbed Su “Sister Poise”.
Poise is also appreciated in Western culture as an essential quality of a well-mannered person.
Each year, the National League of Junior Cotillions of the US releases a list of the Ten Best Mannered People.
Kate Middleton made it onto the list in 2010 “for the poise and dignity with which she conducts herself in the public spotlight”.
The Duchess of Cambridge was also acclaimed earlier this year for her remarkable poise at the royal wedding.
Good news for many, poise is not genetic–it can be acquired with a bit of effort.
About-personal-growth.com, a Malaysia-based website on personal growth guidance, gives tips on how to stay poised.
"Take a few deep breaths when you are facing a situation that tests your patience; practice yoga regularly to calm your nerves; use self affirmation by saying ‘I choose to be calm in any situation’; write down your affirmation daily to imprint the goal,” reads the site.