An Etymology worth knowing…

There’s a word; 矛盾, (máodùn) made up of two characters; the former meaning spear and the latter meaning shield. Together they form the Chinese word for contradiction.

 ‘Spear and shield?’ ‘contradiction?’

Well, the plot thickens when you consider the word’s etymology.

The word stems from a famous story about a blacksmith who forged both spears and shields. He boldly claimed that his spears were so strong that they could pierce any shield, and that his shields were so tough, they were impenetrable to all spears.

It was blatantly obvious that he couldn’t be right in both cases and his customers eased him over the inconsistency in his sales pitch.

The end.

‘xiexie’ for reading

 

Advertisements

2 comments on “An Etymology worth knowing…

  1. But one cannot do without the other.. almost like yin and yang..two contradictory forces joined together for eternity 🙂

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s