Proverbs

Libsmasher

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Jan 9, 2008
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Since there is no "Off Topic" section, as is usually the case in political forums, perhaps the mods will indulge an off-topic thread here.

I've always been fascinated by proverbs - usually they encapsulate compact wisdom, as intended.

Sometimes they are contradictory, as in "look before you leap" and "he who hesitates is lost".

Some of my favorites are

"Sow the wind, and reap the whirlwind." - the Bible (all-time favorite)

"A jest is half a truth." - yiddish proverb

"Before setting out on an errand of revenge, dig TWO graves." - chinese

The chinese have lots of good proverbs, one is a nonfeminst tribute to women:

"Women hold up half the sky."

We had a swiss exchange student stay at our house, and I liked to talk to her and compare proverbs. Turns out there are swiss versions of most american ones, eg:

US: "I'm not holding my breath" (indicating disbelief in a asserted future event)
Swiss: "A lot of water will flow down the Rhine" (before that happens)

US: "No use in crying over spilled milk."
Swiss: "That's snow from yesterday."
 
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Here We Go

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Apr 23, 2008
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238
This is not a proverb, but the way people use their vocabulary. A software engineer from Slough, England was working with me one day and he came in looking exhausted. I asked him what was wrong and . . . .

  • Our version: "I have so much to do that it's unreal!"

  • His version: "I have so much to do that it's untrue!"

I love to hear them talk. :)
 
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Libsmasher

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 9, 2008
Messages
3,151
This is not a proverb, but the way people use their vocabulary. A software engineer from Slough, England was working with me one day and he came in looking exhausted. I asked him what was wrong and . . . .

  • Our version: "I have so much to do that it's unreal!"

  • His version: "I have so much to do that it's untrue!"

I love to hear them talk. :)

I have friends in Brighton and Tooting (a London borough) and the Tooting ones have a semi-cockney accent. One time we were all sitting in a pub, and I mentioned to one of the ladies I loved to hear her talk. She looked at the other Brits, puzzled, and said "Ayyy - somethin' queeah 'ow I tawk?" :D
 
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