成語故事

Unclear And Able To Go Either Way

During the Tang dynasty, there lived a man named Su Wei-dau, who was very intelligent. He began writing essays when he was only nine years old, and he did well on every examination he ever took. As an adult, he went to work for the government, and worked his way up from a low-level official to the prime minister.

As prime minister, Su Wei-dau was always afraid of offending someone and losing his position. So whenever anyone asked his opinion, he would always answer very vaguely, saying, "Well, you could do it this way, or you could do it that way." He would often tell people that they should never make clearcut decisions about anything, because if their decisions were wrong, they would have to take the responsibility. So it was better to remain unclear, and able to go either way. Therefore, the people of Su Wei-dau's time gave him the nickname, "Unclear Su."

And even today, we can still say that a person who never seems to have any opinion is "unclear and able to go either way."

模稜兩可

唐朝有一個人,名叫蘇味道。他從小就很聰明,到了九歲就會寫文章了。

因為蘇味道聽明,長大了參加各種考試,成績都比別人好。因為他考試的成績好,後來做事,從小職員升到主管,從小主管升到大主管,很快就升到全國最高的職位,當上了宰相。他為了保全自己的地位,每次處理事情的時候,別人請他表示意見,他怕得罪人,總是說:這件事這樣可以,那樣也可以,說話含含糊糊,不肯做決斷。他還常對人家說,處理事情不能作明白的決斷,因為如果你的決斷發生錯誤,就要負責任。所以只要模稜兩可就可以了。因此,當時的人就給起了個外號,叫他蘇模稜。


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