Tuesday, March 07, 2006

A Conundrum of Confusing Cliche Contradictions

I love the English Language. Of, course it’s the only language I know. But still, I am completely captivated by its infinite complexities, exquisite beauty and incomparable elegance. The thing I love most about it is the endless array of figures of speech, clichés and euphemisms. And, as with anything good in our society – such as art, music, prose and poetry - the best of these wonderful linguistic idiosyncrasies date back many years. So, this is my tribute to the wisdom, humour and profound simplicity of a people who lived in an era long since past but whose lessons still hold true today for those who will listen.

Wait a minute. What am I saying? Maybe there are some lessons here, but I’ll be damned if I can figure out what they are. In fact, the more I think about it, the more confused I get. Here, let me give you a few examples.

Maybe you remember when they used to say that you can lead a horse to water but you can’t make him drink. And you can’t teach old dogs new tricks. However, you also remember that necessity is the mother of invention. And where there’s a will there’s a way.

Give a man a fish and you’ll be feeding him for life, give him a net and he can feed himself. God helps those who help themselves. However, you should always do unto others as you would have them do unto you and give ‘till it hurts. On second thought, you should always look out for number one.

A stitch in time saves nine. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Look before you leap. Patience is a virtue. Fools rush in where angels fear to tread. Yet, time and tide wait for no man. He who hesitates is lost. You should never put off ‘till tomorrow what you can do today. Opportunity never knocks twice. Damn the torpedoes, full steam ahead.

Strength is a virtue. No quarter asked nor given. Never say die. Only rats desert a sinking ship. Better to live with honour than die with shame. Might makes right. Surrender is not an option. However, he who fights and runs away lives to fight another day. Hey, maybe take up journalism. After all, the pen is mightier than the sword.

Sometimes you have to put your foot down and stand up for what you think is right. After all, quitters never win and winners never quit. But never forget, you should love thine enemy and the meek shall inherit the earth so maybe you should just give up and turn the other cheek.

And, don’t forget, you should never borrow from Peter to pay Paul. After all, neither a borrower nor a lender be. Take care of the pennies and the dollars will take care of themselves. Just don’t spend them all in one place. Make sure you save for a rainy day. A fool and his money are soon parted. Waste not, want not. On second thought, you can’t take it with you, so might as well spend like a drunken sailor. After all, money isn’t everything. In fact, it's the root of all evil. And aren’t the best things in life free?

Early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy wealthy and wise. However, if you really want to get ahead you should burn the midnight oil, put your nose to the grindstone and work around the clock, 24/7.

All is forgiven. Let bygones be bygones. Forgive and forget. Let the past remain in the past. To err is human; to forgive, divine. Two wrongs don’t make a right. What am I saying? Revenge is sweet. As ye sow so shall ye reap. An eye for an eye. I’ll exact my pound of flesh and take back what is mine. I’m nobody’s doormat. I’ll show you. You’ll be sorry.

Better the devil you know than the devil you don’t know. But don’t get too chummy. After all, familiarity breeds contempt.

There is more than one way to skin a cat. Better to be a jack of all trades than a master of none. Don’t put all your eggs in one basket. But, you shouldn’t spread yourself too thin. Stick with what you know.

Birds of a feather flock together. Ye shall be judged by the company you keep. If it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, then it must be a duck. Like father like son. The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. Yet, we shouldn’t rush to judgment and we should never judge by appearances. Every man is an individual and deserves to be judged on his own merit. Yadda yadda.

Curiosity killed the cat. Don’t ask the question if you don’t want to hear the answer. Speak when you are spoken to. Mind your own business. Don’t be a nosey Nellie. Keep your mouth closed and your eyes open. Yet, its good to be in the know. Knowledge is power. Seeing is believing. Fate favours the prepared. Its good to have an inquisitive mind. You should question everything.

You should look on the bright side. Keep a positive attitude. Nothing ventured, nothing gained. Don’t let life get you down, Don’t worry, be happy. Keep your head up. Keep smiling. But, for god's sake, don't lose touch with reality. Get a hold of yourself. Get a grip. You're wearing rose colored glasses. Your head is in the clouds. Come back down to earth. No one trusts a person who smiles all the time.


Blogger RippleRock said...

Wonderful stuff, all of it. I think I've found my new favorite blog.

I'll be coming back often.

2:46 AM  

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