Proverbs are interesting in that, with just a few words, we get a glimpse of a culture’s viewpoint, experience, and wit. Most of the time they are enlightening and remind us of beliefs (hopefully wise) that have been passed down from generation to generation.
But there are some proverbs that are a bit confusing. For example, I have a hard time with: “you want to have your cake and eat it too.” Well, let’s see, if I have a cake, then chances are that I want to eat it. This becomes especially true if it’s a chocolate cake.
I think that this proverb would make more sense if we said:
- “You want to eat your cake, and still have it,” or
- “You want to eat your cake, and keep it.” Or for those more mathematically inclined,
- “You want to eat all portions of your cake, and still have a whole one left over.”
Ok, but this is getting a bit too complicated. I vote for the simplicity of: “Two heads are better than one” (even though, it really depends on whose heads we are talking about), and “Look before you leap.” These 2 proverbs could not be more straightforward and, furthermore, are filled with great advice.
Do you know any proverbs that make you scratch your head?