When 霧霾 (wù mái) gets too bad, a red alert is issued.
What’s “red alert” in Chinese? It’s 紅色警戒 (hóngsè jǐngjiè).
We’ve talked about 紅色 (hóngsè), meaning red. Do you still remember we mentioned red bomb? How about red eggs? Or red envelopes?
警戒 (hóngsè jǐngjiè) is to warn or to be on the alert.
警 (jǐng), meaning to caution or to warn, has 言 (yán) in it. 言 (yán) means speech or word. Think of it representing a verbal warning.
The character that looks most like 警 (jǐng) is 驚 (jīng).
驚 (jīng) means to startle or be startled. It has 馬 (mǎ), a horse, as part of the character. Picture a startled horse.
戒 (jiè) means to take precaution against or to warn.
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