Richard Thorpe eyed the customs officer with suspicion. Although his mission came down from the highest levels of government, he was certain that it would cause a scene regardless if homeland security found an intoxicated and possibly drugged cat in his backpack. As he reached for his passport, the former merchant banker decided to play his trump card.Learning Chinese? Our lesson for today is a relatively short discussion of the strange behavior of measure words. We all know the basic rules for using measure words: put them in front of countable nouns and try not to mix them up too much. But as we learn today, that's not quite all there is. In fact, there are two situations in which Chinese speakers will commonly drop measure words, even if it's grammatically correct to include them. Listen to our podcast for the juicy details.