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Call it even

[ 2014-10-29 09:09] 来源:中国日报网     字号 [] [] []  
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Call it even


“You got me!” Baldy Li showed his admiration by giving him a thumbs-up but then immediately cut to the chase. “How about this: I won’t have you treat me to a bowl of house-special noodles, but if you lend me your cart for a day, we’ll call it even.” Blacksmith Tong had no idea where Baldy Li was going with this. He asked, “So why do you want to borrow my pullcart?”


My comments:

In a sports competition, if two opposing teams or players run up the same number of points, the game is described as tied or the scores are even.

In our example, to call it even is to say the two men no longer owe each other anything. Tong wants to do a favor for Li by treating him to a bowl of noodles but Li prefer having Tong’s cart for a day. By exchanging one favor (noodles) with another (cart), Li calls it even because he receives the same number of favors from Tong – one – as before.

Same for Tong – he still does just one favor for Li, and so is not losing on the number count, either.

To Li’s reckoning, none of them win or lose anything by this exchange.

Does Tong like Li’s reasoning? That’s another matter entirely, but you get Li’s point, which is all that matters to us for now.

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Go to Zhang Xin's column


About the author:

Zhang Xin(张欣) has been with China Daily since 1988, when he graduated from Beijing Foreign Studies University. Write him at: zhangxin@chinadaily.com.cn, or raise a question for potential use in a future column.