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lips

A Riddle

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lips

In China, you can have your fortune told by having the fortune teller look at a single character that you have written.

 

One day, a man walked up to a fortune teller, took a stick, and drew a horizontal line on the ground.  The fortune teller immediately stood up, knelt down, and kowtow'd to the man.  Why?

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CathaySpecific

Not sure, but ...aren't all lines drawn on the ground horizontal?  Assuming the ground is flat, anyway.  So that part seems redundant.

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dwq

Because he saw the hundreds of Secret Service agents protecting the man? 8)
 
Ground = Earth?

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lips

Hint:  more explicitly, "drew a line from left to right on the soil".

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lips

it has to do with three very simple Chinese characters (not more than 4 strokes each).

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Tiana

The horizontal line may give the fortune teller the idea that the man is number one, bound to be someone important in the making? 

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edelweis

oh I get it

土 + 一 = 王

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iand

Some pun to do with "one" and 皇 or 王, 帝 and 地, and 皇上 and 地上?

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lips

the man wrote the character "one" 一 *on* the soil 土。The resulting character is 王 (king).

 

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edelweis

I think 889 objected to the use of "+" in the formula and prefers the notation 一/土=王.

I arbitrarily decided that "+" as a hanzi operator is a graphical composition operator disregarding the relative position of the operands :P

Maybe it's more intuitive like this:

+ 土

= 王

I think with 一 and 土 as operands, the + operation is unambiguous though.

Or can they be combined some other way to make a different character??

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Tiana

Interestingly, I almost hit the jackpot in my earlier post and wrote: "...the idea that the man is number one, is a KING in the making" but then I edited it into a less direct form: "...the idea that the man is number one, bound to be someone important in the making".

:)

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