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Four is Unlucky for Chinese Students
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BEIJING (Reuters) - Shanghai's biggest taxi company is calling in all cabs with an unlucky four in their license plate numbers to boost students' chances in this week's college entrance exams, the China Daily reported Monday.

The word for "four" in Mandarin and Cantonese sounds like the word for "die" and in Shanghainese has the added connotation of being a loser.

"Lots of parents refuse to take cabs with number plates which they consider unlucky, and we've seen many of them get angry at us because we have used them to carry their children in past years," a Shanghai Dazhong Taxi Co. official was quoted as saying.

Parents and children across China do everything they can to maximize their chances of success in the rigorous annual test, which is the ticket to higher education and a fighting chance in the country's increasingly competitive job market.

All of you with "4" on your license plate, raise your hands. You may be safe if you also have an "8" which is considered lucky. Isn't errational [sic] thought fun?

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