Monday, September 27, 2021

Good questions

I think it was comedian George Carlin, unless it was comedian Stephen Wright, who asked why we drive on parkways and we park on driveways. Whoever did the asking, he had a point. Wouldn't it be more logical to drive on driveways and park on parkways?

I have another equally thought-provoking question.

When people travel regularly between two destinations (home and work, say, or home and school), why is it referred to as going back and forth? Wouldn't it be more accurate to refer to it as going forth and back?

I'm sure there are other good questions you may have. You can ask them in the comments section.

15 comments:

  1. Why is a Water Heater sometimes called a Hot Water Heater? If the water is hot you don't need to heat it.

    Why is Eggplant called that because there is no egg in it?

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    1. Bonnie,. good ones! Should be Cold Water Heater or just Water Heater and Eggless Plant. Makes sense to me?

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  2. Replies
    1. Rachel, and that is perfectly fine. Our “back and forth” phrasing is like saying “back and there” instead of “there and back”. Your comment reminded me of J.R.R. Tolkien’s book’s full title, The Hobbitt: or There and Back Again.

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  3. How about "I'll pick you up at eight?" Or "give me a hand?" Or the difference between uptown and downtown.

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  4. Emma, These are great! I probably would not have thought of either one of them.

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    1. Tasker, I sincerely hope this post was not a contributing factor,

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  6. Why do we have so many contradictory "wise" sayings as in: "Too many cooks spoil the broth" and "Many hands make light work"?

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    1. Yorkshire Pudding, you mean like "A stitch in time saves nine" and "Haste makes waste"? It's because humans made them up, and humans are complex creatures.

      There are two seemingly contradictory proverbs right next to each other in the Bible, in Proverbs 26:4 ("Answer not a fool according to his folly, lest thou also be like unto him") and Proverbs 26:5 ("Answer a fool according to his folly, lest he be wise in his own conceit").

      For a long time I thought that one of them (but which one?) could not be good advice. Now, however, I think that both are good advice that depend on timing. One time verse 4 may be appropriate, and another time verse 5 may be appropriate. You want proof? Read these words from the third chapter of the book of Ecclesiastes:

      1 To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:

      2 A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;

      3 A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;

      4 A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;

      5 A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;

      6 A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away;

      7 A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;

      8 A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.

      In other words, there is a time to answer fools, and a time to refrain from answering fools. Similarly, there may indeed be a time when too many cooks spoil the broth as well as a time when many hands make light work.

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  7. As a 6 year old I learned the 7 Dealy Sins of which Pride was (in my rote) the first. So when the same teacher told me to have pride in my work I was genuinely puzzled. I put my hand up and asked the question. I was slapped down by being told not to be insolent. I was 6. Fortunately my mother explained. But I have never forgotten either the word or the injustice.

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    1. The teacher had no idea and punished the child. Thank goodness teacher traininig tries to stamp this kind of stuff out these days but it won't get everyone

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  8. Graham, Your childhood memory of your teacher reminded me of what the Native American Indians said about their treaty negotiations with authorities in Washington, “White man speaks with forked tongue.”

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    1. Bob, I had always taken that to mean "White man lies." but dual meanings makes a lot of sense too.

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  9. I've wondered that as well. The origin of various sayings is fascinating and has led me down many internet rabbit holes.

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<b> One of the most important things you will ever read</b>

...may be an article in the newest issue of The Atlantic , a link to which I have included below: "Human History Gets A Rewrite...