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Chinese Idioms

Learn Chinese - 墨守成规
Date:2014-02-18 10:40 From:wangjianzhong 【Print】 【Closed】 【Collection
When you learn Chinese, you may have found that some words' meanings have been changed. At the beginning, the word may be a commendatory term, however, it can become a derogatory term now. For instance, 墨守成规 is mostly used as a derogatory term, but it was once a commendatory term.
墨子 was the representative personage of Mohism and he was good at making defense solid. During the Warring States period, 墨子 heard that Chu State was going to attack Song State. In order to make Chu's king give up his intension, 墨子 hurried to achieve Chu and asked to meet the king. Chu's king was touched by 墨子 and he promised to retreat. However, Lu Ban had created the tools used for storming a castle and he wanted to test the power of his tools.
墨子 said, "OK, I can pretend to be the defenders and you are the invaders. Let's figure out whether you can break through my defense lines." 墨子 used wooden chips as weapons and he allowed Lu Ban to use all of his tools. Lu Ban used different methods to attack, but 墨子 always beat him back.
Lu Ban said, "I know the method to defeat you, but I do not plan to say it." 墨子 said, "I know what your method is, and I will not say it either." Chu's king was confused and he asked, "What are you talking about?" 墨子 said, "Lu Ban wants to kill me now and he thinks if I am dead, there will be nobody who can protect Song. However, he does not know that I have teach my followers to defend." Chu's king knew that he could not win the battle and he made his promise again.
When you learn Chinese terms, you should try to figure out the different meanings. 墨守成规 is used to praise 墨子 who is good at defending. 守 means protecting a city at the beginning, however, it means sticking to old ways now.
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