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Thread: Cliches That Don't Make Sense

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  1. #1
    Potential Lunch Winner Dom Heffner's Avatar
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    Cliches That Don't Make Sense

    This is probably another one of my dud threads, but I was thinking about some proverbs or cliches that simply don't make sense or that are not necessarily true.

    "Money can't buy happiness."

    Sure it can. It is not a prerequisite to happiness, nor does it solve all problems, but having a bunch of it sure makes people happy sometimes and it can make getting through life a whole lot easier.

    "Waste not, want not."

    Unless you want more than what you would have wasted, then this handy saying gets tossed out the window.

    "The exception proves the rule."

    I've never understood this one, and frankly it would seem the exception would disprove the rule. Every time.

    "Trust your judgment."

    Better hope your judgment can tell you when you need to get someone else's.

    "It's not whether you win or lose, it's how you play the game."

    Anyone remember the last time a losing team advanced in the playoffs? Or do they just pass on the team that played better? What in the heck does this mean?

    Others? Comments? Anyone? Bueller?
    If you're watchin' a parade, make sure you stand in one spot, don't follow it, it never changes. And if the parade is boring, run in the opposite direction, you will fast-foward the parade. --Mitch Hedberg

  2. #2
    Score Early, Score Often gonelong's Avatar
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    Re: Cliches That Don't Make Sense

    Quote Originally Posted by Dom Heffner
    "Money can't buy happiness."

    Sure it can. It is not a prerequisite to happiness, nor does it solve all problems, but having a bunch of it sure makes people happy sometimes and it can make getting through life a whole lot easier.
    I know a pretty wide range of income earners. Without a doubt, the people that are, IMO, the happiest are the lower wage earners. I think its because the do lots of things with family, friends, and neighbors. For many of them, its the only entertainment they can afford.

    Money can buy you stuff, and make life easier, but it doesn't make you happy.

    "Waste not, want not."

    Unless you want more than what you would have wasted, then this handy saying gets tossed out the window.
    Yea, gotta agree.

    "The exception proves the rule."

    I've never understood this one, and frankly it would seem the exception would disprove the rule. Every time.
    Agree again.

    "Trust your judgment."

    Better hope your judgment can tell you when you need to get someone else's.
    So true.

    "It's not whether you win or lose, it's how you play the game."

    Anyone remember the last time a losing team advanced in the playoffs? Or do they just pass on the team that played better? What in the heck does this mean?

    As you drop from Pro, to College, to High School, to Jr. High, to Grade School ... this applies much more.

    I have always been a bit intrigued about those cliches that are contradictory.

    Look before you leap ... or He who hesitates is lost?

    There are a bunch of these.

    GL

  3. #3
    Man Pills
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    Re: Cliches That Don't Make Sense

    Doesn't "Waste not, want not" mean that it's wise not to waste in the sense that, by not wasting what you have in the now, in the future you won't want for anything? I think there's a temporal factor to the saying. Also, I think the sense of the word "want" means "lack" more than our more contemporary (and limited) sense of word "want," meaning "desire." In other words, "Waste not, lack not." Does that make sense?

    But here's one that flat-out pisses me off: "A stitch in time saves nine" Huh?

  4. #4
    Hey Cubs Fans RFS62's Avatar
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    Re: Cliches That Don't Make Sense

    Quote Originally Posted by Falls City Beer

    But here's one that flat-out pisses me off: "A stitch in time saves nine" Huh?


    Doesn't that mean that if you put a stitch in a garment when you first need it, it saves having to put in nine stitches later after the tear increases in size?
    "Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover."
    ~ Mark Twain

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    Score Early, Score Often gonelong's Avatar
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    Re: Cliches That Don't Make Sense

    Quote Originally Posted by Falls City Beer
    Doesn't "Waste not, want not" mean that it's wise not to waste in the sense that, by not wasting what you have in the now, in the future you won't want for anything? I think there's a temporal factor to the saying. Also, I think the sense of the word "want" means "lack" more than our more contemporary (and limited) sense of word "want," meaning "desire." In other words, "Waste not, lack not." Does that make sense?
    Thats how I understand it.

    But here's one that flat-out pisses me off: "A stitch in time saves nine" Huh?
    Back in the day when you sewed and mended your own clothes, a stitch in time would literally save 9. If you noticed a whole in your sock or a tear in your pants you would mend it pretty quick. If you let it go for awhile, chances were pretty good the whole would be bigger or the rip would catch on something and rip much wider. If you applied the one stitch in a timely manner, you would certainly save yourself much more sewing than if you didn't.

    GL

  6. #6
    Unsolicited Opinions traderumor's Avatar
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    Re: Cliches That Don't Make Sense

    "It's the same difference."
    Can't win with 'em

    Can't win without 'em

  7. #7
    Bunn-O-matic max venable's Avatar
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    Re: Cliches That Don't Make Sense

    How 'bout this one:

    The naked truth.

    What is that all about? Is that different from the clothed version of the truth? Is it somehow truer if it has disrobed?

    Isn't the truth the truth whether it's naked or not?

    Here's another:

    He stuck his foot in his mouth.

    Where did that come from? Did somebody actually do that at some point thus beginning a new cliche?

    Oh...now I'm thinking of all kinds...how 'bout:

    Dead as a doorknob

    What? Yeah, I guess a doorknob is dead alright. Was someone killed and the killer needed a good metaphor and he says, "Yeah, he's dead alright...he's as dead as...(can't think of anything, looks around the room, sees the door...)...he's as dead as a doorknob! Yeah! That's how dead he is. Just like that doorknob over there." Huh?

    One more...

    Stop your cryin' or I'll give you something to cry about.

    never made any sense to me. "Yeah...I don't NEED something to cry about...I'm cryin' already."
    For every action there is an equal and opposite criticism.

  8. #8
    Score Early, Score Often gonelong's Avatar
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    Re: Cliches That Don't Make Sense

    Quote Originally Posted by max venable

    Dead as a doorknob
    The saying should be "dead as a doornail". These sayings morph over the course of time, mostly because the original meaning is lost on the next generation(s). We have doorknobs, but nobody knows what a door-nail is. That is why you get knuckleheads saying "a tough road to hoe". Who the heck would hoe a road? I guess that would be tough! Its a row. You hoe a row, as in a row of corn or whatever.

    In the good old days they would tear buildings down and re-use whatever nails they could. In those days when they would hang a door they would bend the end of the nails on the other side so they wouldn't pull out. Hence, "doornails" were not able to be re-used. Dead as a door-nail.

    My grandpa lived into his 90's and I'd ask him about this stuff all the time. He was more than happy to tell me what they all meant and I was more than happy to listen. I know a bit about the meanings of those old sayings, or at least what my Grandpa's interpretation of them was.

    I have considered changing my user name to "Good Eats" or "Prit'near" more than once, as a memorial to good old Grandpa.

    GL
    Last edited by gonelong; 02-27-2006 at 03:03 PM.

  9. #9
    Bunn-O-matic max venable's Avatar
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    Re: Cliches That Don't Make Sense

    Quote Originally Posted by gonelong
    The saying should be "dead as a doornail". These sayings morph over the course of time, mostly because the original meaning is lost on the next generation(s). We have doorknobs, but nobody knows what a door-nail is. That is why you get knuckleheads saying "a tough road to hoe". Who the heck would hoe a road? I guess that would be tough! Its a row. You hoe a row, as in a row of corn or whatever.

    In the good old days they would tear buildings down and re-use whatever nails they could. In those days when they would hang a door they would bend the end of the nails on the other side so they wouldn't pull out. Hence, "doornails" were not able to be re-used. Dead as a door-nail.

    My grandpa lived into his 90's and I'd ask him about this stuff all the time. He was more than happy to tell me what they all meant and I was more than happy to listen. I know a bit about the meanings of those old sayings, or at least what my Grandpa's interpretation of them was.

    I have considered changing my user name to "Good Eats" or "Prit'near" more than once, as a memorial to good old Grandpa.

    GL
    great explanation gl. Thanks for that.
    For every action there is an equal and opposite criticism.

  10. #10
    Plays The Right Way Hap's Avatar
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    Re: Cliches That Don't Make Sense

    I'm willing to look into the camera right now and say that I have never bet on baseball and I have never bet on Cincinnati Reds baseball.
    .

  11. #11
    Stat Wanker Hodiernus RedsManRick's Avatar
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    Re: Cliches That Don't Make Sense

    Quote Originally Posted by Dom Heffner
    "The exception proves the rule."
    The fact this the occurance is viewed as an abnormality, an exception if you will, is proof that in fact that rule does exist. For if the rule did not exist, then there will be nothing notable about the occurance being referenced.

  12. #12
    Member Gainesville Red's Avatar
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    Re: Cliches That Don't Make Sense

    "Don't put the cart before the horse."

    C'mon, no one actually put the cart in front of the horse, did they? If they are liable to make such a mistake, why are they in the cart hooking up business in the first place? What a silly mistake that would be. How would you even hook up a cart in front of a horse?

  13. #13
    Bunn-O-matic max venable's Avatar
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    Re: Cliches That Don't Make Sense

    Here's another one I heard on TV last night (and it's related to the "naked truth" one):

    the bare essentials

    Aren't essentials essentials? I mean if something is essential, isn't it already the bottom line minimum? Nooooo! We have to make it the bare essentials (somehow even more essential than the essentials)
    For every action there is an equal and opposite criticism.

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    Member 919191's Avatar
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    Re: Cliches That Don't Make Sense

    I heard an old guy tell a pretty girl once that she was prettier than a june bug on a post split 4 ways.
    I've been to dinner at Jimmy Buffet's house, and I've eaten it at a homeless shelter. And there's great joy and harrowing terror to be found in both places.
    -Todd Snider

  15. #15
    Member chicoruiz's Avatar
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    Re: Cliches That Don't Make Sense

    "Don't throw out the baby with the bath water".

    Dang! I keep forgetting that!


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