Humorous story: Can't do it, thanks



In the autumn of 1934, Hu Shi once again extolled the merits of the vernacular in his lectures at Peking University. A classmate protested: "Mr. Hu, I think the vernacular is not good and the language is not concise. If you send a telegram, you will use more words and spend more money."

Hu Shi explained softly: " Not necessarily! A few days ago, a friend of the Executive Yuan sent me a telegram, inviting me to be the secretary of the Executive Yuan. I don’t want to go into politics, so I decided not to go. Because of this, I replied and refused. The reply was written in vernacular Yes, it seems to save words too. According to my wish, please write a reply in classical Chinese to see if it is written in vernacular or in classical Chinese.”



15 minutes later, Hu Shi asked the students to raise their hands to report the number of words used, and then selected a telegram in classical Chinese with the fewest words.



Hu Shi said that this telegram was really concise, using only 12 characters, but my vernacular telegram only used 5 characters: "I can't do it, thank you. "

Humorous story: Can't do it, thanks

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