Saturday, January 23, 2016

Proverbs: It is Said

Somewhere in the 1960s there was a book published with a title near to How to Lie with Statistics. We proclaim that 23% of something is harmful. Are we actually lying or ignoring the 77% as if it doesn't exist to prove a point? I'm not sure if that was the correct title, but it brings to mind how we use old proverbs or adages as illustrations of our thoughts.
At times the short sentences trip from our tongue without our even being aware of where they became a part of our vocabulary. We see them printed on plaques, on billboards, or used a filler in bulletins, magazines, and newspapers.
   Benjamin Franklin used proverbs in his Poor Richard's Almanac and they are what survives today to be printed over and over in multiple editions. The real fun is collecting proverbs that contradict each other.
   Nash is skilled at ferreting out the twists and is always on the lookout for more to add to the file though I'm a bit skeptical that he isn't stretching it a bit. We're throwing out a few for you to remember and enjoy. You've heard these most of your life, just as we have.

   Too many cooks spoil the broth. Many hands make light work.

   Absence makes the heart grow fonder. Out of sight, out of mind.

   The seed you sow, another reaps. As you sow, so shall you reap.

   Two birds of prey do not keep company. Birds of a feather flock together.

   Nothing ventured, nothing gained. Be sure you are right, then go ahead.

   A formal fool speaks naught but proverbs. A proverb is one man's wit and all men's wisdom.

   Success makes some crimes honorable. No wickedness has any ground of reason.

   Never do evil that good may come of it. The end justifies the means.

   Fortune helps the bold. Good fortune ever fights on the side of the prudent.

   He who would fine must seek. Everything comes to him who waits.

   By education most have been mislead. Education makes the man.

   Push on, keep moving. A rolling stone gathers no moss.

  When you consider proverbs, which we were taught is the collective wisdom of the ages, in this light is it any wonder we're often confused? Both are plausible until they are looked at side-by-side.
   Does anyone have others we can add to our dozen? We'd love to have them for our collection.


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