Friday, 11 June 2010

Just sayings...

There used to be commonly-known sayings. There used to be an awful lot of them. Somewhere along the line they have dropped out of use and the world has become a greyer place for their loss.

Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never harm me.

When we were small we would shout that at anyone who called us names. Being called names didn't matter to us as children. At least, we would never let the name-caller see that their words had any effect. Offence is never given. It cannot be given. It can only be taken. I cannot offend you with words unless you decide to take offence. You cannot offend me unless I accept the offense. If I call you names and you brush them aside, then my insult is powerless. If you take offense, my insult has hurt you and I have won. See how it works?

If you know me, if you know my past in detail, you might be able to find something to say that would cut me deeply. You might want to use that to upset me. Your words can only affect me if I let them. If I show no reaction, you have lost. Sticks and stones...

Now, of course, there's profit in being offended. You can make the insulter pay, but you can only do that by taking offense. Forget the sticks and stones - one word out of place can now damage your wealth and even cost you your freedom. In order to make this work, people have become feeble. They are looking for offense. They can no longer hold their head up and shrug off a word or two. They call the police and say 'Please sir, he called me a bad name'.

At school, we had a word for people like that.


What's sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander.

Remember that one? The Dreadful Arnott and her like don't remember it. To them, it is perfectly fine to tell you lies about five-a-day, to make up alcohol limits and demand you stick to them, to tell you you must believe the world is warming even though this week is the chilliest June week I've experienced for some years, and to pretend that smoking harms others when all the data shows that it doesn't.

They don't like the same methods used on them. They will howl and stamp their feet if we use the same data to claim that smoking doesn't do any of the things it's claimed to do. Well, Righteous, I for one plan to use exactly your methods against you. If you don't like me doing it, the only way to stop me is to stop using those methods yourself. You can't. It's all you have.


My personal favourite, one that might not be so commonly known:

Fine words butter no parsnips.

I imagine Labour deliberately silenced that one. It means that no matter how eloquently you present a case, if you don't actually do what you say then your words are pointless. Labour have demonstrated that manifesto promises can be out-and-out lies and there is nothing we can do about it. A court case has set the precedent for all parties. Not one of the promises made to us during an election need be honoured. Not one. Politicians can lie as brazenly as they like on their campaign literature and we have no redress. A referendum on Europe? Sure, we'll promise that. A partial smoking ban? Sure, we'll promise that. Anything you want, just ask and we will promise it.

Fine words...

There are many more, but it's late and I can't recall them now. What seems odd is that it's not just some of those old sayings that have vanished. All of them have dropped out of use, all at once. Almost as if the collected wisdom of those simple sayings was deliberately destroyed. I don't recall when it happened. Was it gradual, or was it done by decree? If we had seen it happening we might have been able to stop it. If you can fix something in the early stages of breaking, it saves you a much bigger fixing job later. But then, that saying:

A stitch in time saves nine

would have been an awfully inconvenient one to have hanging around the Brown Gorgon's government.

Anyone remember any more?

32 comments:

TheFatBigot said...

The important thing about the old sayings is that they weren't fairy stories they were proven moral lessons based on generations of experience.

All sorts of old sayings and old ways are worth learning in order to keep things in perspective. That is really what they are all about - keeping things in perspective.

Food, water, shelter and safety from physical harm are the things that really matter. Everything else is a bonus.

An old saying I enjoy, because it is true and inexplicable by the climate "experts" is: "For every fog in March there will be a frost in May". Stick that in your computer model and watch it implode.

Billy The Fsih said...

How about 'Neither a borrower nor a lender be'?

The economy might be in a better shape if certain individuals had've taken that one on board a few years back...

Anonymous said...

'Billy The Fsih'?

I've got to stop getting up this early...

banned said...

"As sure as eggs is eggs" which I understand to mean that something is inevitably going to happen.

Skittler said...

I believe the Chinese have a commonly used equivalent of "Fine words butter no parsnips" which I am guessing has been around for much longer.

It is very simply, "Talk does not cook rice."

Anonymous said...

I've always quite liked, 'A little bit of what you fancy does you good.' It's a pity the Righteous have forgotton that one.

Karen

Chuckles said...

A variation that the current incumbents might recognise -

'Necessity is the mother of strange bedfellows'

Gareth said...

There used to be commonly-known sayings. There used to be an awful lot of them. Somewhere along the line they have dropped out of use and the world has become a greyer place for their loss.

Perhaps you refer to the "Gods of the copybook headings"?

Snakey said...

"Ne'er cast a clout 'til May be out" - climate changers seem to have forgotten that one ;)

http://www.phrases.org.uk/meanings/till-may-is-out.html

Disenfranchised of Buckingham said...

Mine are non PC.

"Like looking for a nigger in a wood pile." I made the mistake of using that in a factory in Florida to describe an intractable engineering problem. I was lucky not to be frogged marched off the premises. But hey it's an every day phrase.

Sue said...

Classic one for the government "Do as I say, not as I do".

More phrases and proverbs

I grew up with both my mum and my nan spouting proverbs at me all day. My nan was German, so I got it two languages when I was a kid!

Frank Davis said...

"Many hands make light work"

To which the riposte was

"Too many cooks spoil the broth"

And then there's

"A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush"

I'm sure I can think of many more.

Giolla said...

"do unto others as you'd have done unto yourself"?

One our glorious leaders seem completely unaware of

Gendeau said...

Haven't heard this one for a while;

"perhaps we should give power to labour, I mean, how can they be worse than the tories?"

Didn't vote for them myself, but I did have high hopes, oh so long ago...

A VERY long ime ago, it feels like

Alara Kenet said...

Handsome is as handsome does...

And then there's Mrs Doasyouwouldbedoneby and Mrs Bedonebyasyoudid - thanks to Giolla for reminding me of these two ladies :)

Anonymous said...

"all fur coats and nae knickers" which seems to sum up our style-obsessed but substance-free society.

Jay

Billy Blofeld said...

Here are two which mean the same thing:

Many a mickle makes a muckle

Look after the pennies and the pounds will look after themselves.



Labour heeded neither..........

Anthony said...

Here's two from my Army days...

"Always expect the worst, then everything else is a bonus..."

and, for me, an important one.

"Never ask anyone else to do something you are not prepared to do yourself."

DaveF said...

"After all is said and done, there's a lot more said than done."

sixtypoundsaweekcleaner said...

A friend of mine was in the car with her mother one day, when someone pulled out in front of her. Forgetting her mother was sitting in the back, let alone that she was a retired Salvation Army Captain, she broke out into a stream of abuse, eff words, the lot! Catching her mother's eye in the rear view mirror, she blushed bright red and apologised profusely. Mother promptly said: 'Needs must when the Devil drives."

Anonymous said...

'Leading you up the garden path'.

Anonymous said...

I've never quite been able to work out why, if you are supposed to "look before you leap," then "he who hesitates is lost" and "the early bird gets the worm" into the bargain! Sounds like someone's fibbing .....

Anonymous said...

Dear Mr Leg-iron

Our New Utopian Socialist Society has its own take on our proverbs:

With sticks and stones we'll break your bones because your words have hurt us, at least a little bit.

And for the passionately Utopian:

With sticks and stones we'll break your bones because we think that someone else might have taken offence at your words had she (or he) heard them, and even if he (or she) had heard them but expressly stated s/he was not offended, we think they ought to have been.

DP

hangemall said...

Let's hope the LibCons aren't "Penny wise, pound foolish."

WV = cidhoons

Dioclese said...

"You can't teach a pig to sing - it frustrates you and annoys the pig"

Griblett said...

My favourites are;

Living well is the best revenge.

Eat, drink and make merry for tomorrow we die.

Like a cow handling a musket.

My old mum used to quote this rhyme all the time when I was little;

'If all the world was paper and all the seas were ink and all the trees were bread and cheese, what would we have to drink?'

Years later I realised she was clearly insane and had her sectioned.

Bill Sticker said...

Re; Anonymous 11 June 2010 19:03

"Leading you up the garden path", the second half of which is; "to have your throat cut."

Grisly, but apposite.

Leg-iron said...

Good to see they haven't all been forgotten!

It;'s easy to see why Socialists would like them gone. Too much common sense in there.

Let's get them back into use.

Bill Sticker - I suspect that might come from when people kept their own pig in the garden and when it was big enough, a certain gentleman would call. Not that long ago, really.

It wouldn't work now. The slaughterman would be arrested for carrying a knife.

Mark Wadsworth said...

'A bird in the hand shits on your wrist'

'The early worm gets caught by the bird'

'"Should" is good, "is" is better'

'Look after the pennies and the pounds will take care of themselves'

'Always go to the toilet before your leave the pub'

Mrs Rigby said...

"Penny wise, pound foolish."

"He who pays the piper calls the tune"

Captain Haddock said...

"You can't make a silk purse out of a sow's ear" ... good advice to Prezza on the reason he gave for accepting a Peerage ..

Another piece of advice for Politicians .. "If if's & buts were apples and nuts .. a greedy fellow could fill his guts" ..

And from my Armed Forces days .. "ABC" (all been changed) .. and "ABCBA" (all been changed back again) ..

Captain Haddock said...

"Those who can .. do .. Those who cant, become either Teachers or Politicians" ..

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