Allusions, 典 or 典故, are frequently used in spoken and written Chinese, both in formal and informal contexts. These allusions can draw on any aspect of the tradition, be it historical, classical, literary, poetic, or even more modern as allusions can refer to any point in recent history and, given the language-centric nature of Maoist and post-Maoist rule, aspects of what we call New China Newspeak or ‘Maospeak’.
Obvious Allusion 明典: this is the direct use of an allusion in its original sense.
Hidden Allusion 暗典: an indirect or obscure use of an allusion.
Reverse Allusion 翻典: is when the user makes a creative, sardonic or ironical use of the original allusion.