How do English proverbs contradict themselves?
English proverbs are elegant and beautiful ways to express yourself. In the UK, we often quote English proverbs when we are in difficult situations, but I think more to the point, we use English proverbs to reassure ourselves we are doing the right thing. What I find funny about the way English speakers use English proverbs, is that for every enlightened quote we use, there is often another English proverb which expresses the exact opposite.
Your Mother isn’t Always Right!
For example, when I was younger and didn’t want to do my homework, my mother would tell me “Ben, practice makes perfect”. This suggests that the more you work and practice a particular skill, the better you get, which I must admit is hard to argue with. I can’t imagine Messi becoming the football player he is, without spending many hours practicing on the football pitch. However, and this is where my point become relevant, there is another English proverb which says :”All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy”. This basically means you should have fun as well as practice and work!
There are many example of these contradicting English proverbs. Another is…
“All good things come to those who wait”. Again, my mother often tells me to be more patient in life and that I must learn to wait for the good things that life has in store. As a youngster I found it hard to think like this, and I still do. I believe that you should make good things happen, because tomorrow may never come. There is an English proverb that says “Time and tide wait for no man”, which seems more relevant to me.
Remember what you have learnt here and next time somebody uses English proverbs to strengthen their argument, you can fight back with the opposite English proverb!
If there are words or grammar you do not understand here, leave a comment below and I will explain it for you.
He who hesitates is lost BUT Fools rush in where angels fear to tread
Practice makes perfect BUT All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy
Silence is golden BUT The squeaky wheel gets the grease
The pen is mightier than the sword BUT Actions speak louder than words
You’re never too old to learn BUT You can’t teach an old dog new tricks
What’s good for the goose is good for the gander BUT One man’s meat is another man’s poison.
Wise men think alike BUT Fools seldom differ