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Folklore: modern proverb

leeneia 09 Oct 20 - 12:15 PM
GUEST,Ray 09 Oct 20 - 12:26 PM
Mrrzy 09 Oct 20 - 12:56 PM
GUEST,Dave Hunt 09 Oct 20 - 01:00 PM
Doug Chadwick 09 Oct 20 - 01:04 PM
Doug Chadwick 09 Oct 20 - 01:11 PM
Doug Chadwick 09 Oct 20 - 02:23 PM
leeneia 09 Oct 20 - 06:41 PM
Black belt caterpillar wrestler 09 Oct 20 - 06:47 PM
BobL 10 Oct 20 - 02:42 AM
Doug Chadwick 10 Oct 20 - 04:06 AM
Dave the Gnome 10 Oct 20 - 04:11 AM
Doug Chadwick 10 Oct 20 - 04:14 AM
G-Force 10 Oct 20 - 06:44 AM
Doug Chadwick 10 Oct 20 - 06:59 AM
Lighter 10 Oct 20 - 07:06 AM
GUEST,Roderick A Warner 10 Oct 20 - 08:10 AM
Dave Hanson 10 Oct 20 - 08:37 AM
GUEST,Anon 10 Oct 20 - 08:57 AM
GUEST,wireharp 10 Oct 20 - 09:11 AM
GUEST,Mark Finn 10 Oct 20 - 09:18 AM
leeneia 10 Oct 20 - 10:07 AM
Jos 10 Oct 20 - 10:21 AM
Mo the caller 10 Oct 20 - 11:17 AM
GUEST,paperback 10 Oct 20 - 03:13 PM
leeneia 10 Oct 20 - 04:29 PM
GUEST 10 Oct 20 - 05:39 PM
Joe_F 10 Oct 20 - 06:16 PM
Charmion 10 Oct 20 - 06:23 PM
Mrrzy 10 Oct 20 - 06:31 PM
GerryM 10 Oct 20 - 06:54 PM
Doug Chadwick 10 Oct 20 - 06:57 PM
ketchdana 10 Oct 20 - 07:24 PM
Norval 11 Oct 20 - 12:54 AM
Long Firm Freddie 11 Oct 20 - 08:55 AM
Newport Boy 11 Oct 20 - 11:38 AM
leeneia 11 Oct 20 - 03:00 PM
Mrrzy 11 Oct 20 - 03:20 PM
Stilly River Sage 11 Oct 20 - 04:14 PM
Joe_F 11 Oct 20 - 05:43 PM
GUEST,Allanwill 11 Oct 20 - 09:46 PM
leeneia 12 Oct 20 - 01:11 AM
BobL 12 Oct 20 - 03:02 AM
GUEST,Mark 12 Oct 20 - 06:04 AM
GUEST,John from Kemsing 12 Oct 20 - 06:30 AM
Black belt caterpillar wrestler 12 Oct 20 - 06:40 AM
Doug Chadwick 12 Oct 20 - 06:53 AM
Doug Chadwick 12 Oct 20 - 07:12 AM
Doug Chadwick 12 Oct 20 - 07:51 AM
GUEST 12 Oct 20 - 09:20 AM
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Subject: Folklore: modern proverb
From: leeneia
Date: 09 Oct 20 - 12:15 PM

Once upon a time, I went to the state convention of the folklore society, and I gave a talk on modern proverbs. The talk was well received, with an interested audience. Since then I have kept my eye out for modern proverbs, and here's one I just encountered.

"Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad."

Do you know any others?


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Subject: RE: Folklore: modern proverb
From: GUEST,Ray
Date: 09 Oct 20 - 12:26 PM

“If a thing’s worth doing, it’s worth doing to excess.”


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Subject: RE: Folklore: modern proverb
From: Mrrzy
Date: 09 Oct 20 - 12:56 PM

I read a longer version of the tomato is a fruit thing but haha cannot remember it!

Ok I looked it up: And philosophy is wondering if that makes ketchup a smoothie.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: modern proverb
From: GUEST,Dave Hunt
Date: 09 Oct 20 - 01:00 PM

Too many brothels spoil the cook
A bird in the hand makes it difficult to blow the nose
People that live in glasshouses should undress in the dark
A stitch in Time holds the magazine together
A rolling stone gathers momentum


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Subject: RE: Folklore: modern proverb
From: Doug Chadwick
Date: 09 Oct 20 - 01:04 PM

Attributed to Joseph Kennedy:

    "When the going gets tough, the tough get going."

DC


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Subject: RE: Folklore: modern proverb
From: Doug Chadwick
Date: 09 Oct 20 - 01:11 PM

If at first you don't succeed, sky diving's not for you.


The meek shall inherit the Earth, but not the mineral rights.
- J Paul Getty.

DC


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Subject: RE: Folklore: modern proverb
From: Doug Chadwick
Date: 09 Oct 20 - 02:23 PM

A quote from Harold MacMillan, former Prime Minister of the UK. Although he died in 1963, it is particularly apt in the current situation:

      "To be alive at all involves some risk"

DC


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Subject: RE: Folklore: modern proverb
From: leeneia
Date: 09 Oct 20 - 06:41 PM

Those are interesting. Keep em coming.

Another one relates to small children: Don't say don't.

It means, tell the child what you want him to do, because there are dozens of bad things to do but only a few good things. Also, a young child may not understand that "don't" negates what follows.

If we say "Don't climb on the dining room table," the child may hear something vague about the table. If we say "You may play on the floor or get on the furniture," then that is clear.

It's interesting that the proverb violates itself, using "Don't".


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Subject: RE: Folklore: modern proverb
From: Black belt caterpillar wrestler
Date: 09 Oct 20 - 06:47 PM

The meek shall inherit the earth; if that's all right with you chaps.

If a job's really worth doing it's even worth doing badly.

Robin


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Subject: RE: Folklore: modern proverb
From: BobL
Date: 10 Oct 20 - 02:42 AM

A free society is a place where it's safe to be unpopular -- Adlai Stevenson.

If the result confirms the hypothesis, you've made a measurement. If the result is contrary to the hypothesis, you've made a discovery -- Enrico Fermi.

It's crackers to slip a rozzer the dropsy in snide.

Remember, your sole purpose in life may be to serve as a warning to others -- Les Barker.

Politicians are like ships - noisiest when lost in fog.

Don't believe everything you read on the internet -- Abraham Lincoln.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: modern proverb
From: Doug Chadwick
Date: 10 Oct 20 - 04:06 AM

Although he died in 1963, ...

Oops! I mis-read the dates. MacMillan served as Prime Minister until 1963. He died in 1986.

DC


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Subject: RE: Folklore: modern proverb
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 10 Oct 20 - 04:11 AM

If at first you don't succeed, give up. (Homer Simpson)

A rolling gallstones gathers remorse. (My Mrs.)


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Subject: RE: Folklore: modern proverb
From: Doug Chadwick
Date: 10 Oct 20 - 04:14 AM

Ancient proverb: "The early bird catches the worm".

Modern proverb: "The early worm gets caught".

DC


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Subject: RE: Folklore: modern proverb
From: G-Force
Date: 10 Oct 20 - 06:44 AM

Was it Ronnie Scott who used to say 'If God had meant us to fly he would have given us tickets'?


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Subject: RE: Folklore: modern proverb
From: Doug Chadwick
Date: 10 Oct 20 - 06:59 AM

If you can keep your head in a crisis, then you don't understand the problem.

DC


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Subject: RE: Folklore: modern proverb
From: Lighter
Date: 10 Oct 20 - 07:06 AM

Interesting that so many of these ridicule long-recognized proverbs.

Why should that be? I can't recall anything like it in old collections.

And by "old," I mean before about 1970.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: modern proverb
From: GUEST,Roderick A Warner
Date: 10 Oct 20 - 08:10 AM

‘Never educate a mug... ‘


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Subject: RE: Folklore: modern proverb
From: Dave Hanson
Date: 10 Oct 20 - 08:37 AM

You can't educate pork.

Dave H


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Subject: RE: Folklore: modern proverb
From: GUEST,Anon
Date: 10 Oct 20 - 08:57 AM

The early bird catches the worm.

The second mouse gets the cheese.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: modern proverb
From: GUEST,wireharp
Date: 10 Oct 20 - 09:11 AM

"If at first you don't succeed, try try again. Then Quit. No need to be a damned fool about it" - W.C.Fields


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Subject: RE: Folklore: modern proverb
From: GUEST,Mark Finn
Date: 10 Oct 20 - 09:18 AM

"If at first you don't succeed - try the outfield."

"My get-up-and-go got up and went."

“Some people fight fire with fire. I've found water to be more effective.”


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Subject: RE: Folklore: modern proverb
From: leeneia
Date: 10 Oct 20 - 10:07 AM

When I gave my talk, I showed that many modern proverbs take a word and use it two different ways. Here's an example:

They're sick and tired of being sick and tired.

I collected that from a loud voice in a Wendy's restaurant near the University of Kansas Medical Center.
=========
Here are three I made up myself, based on older proverbs:

The watched pot never boils over.
The early worm gets eaten by the bird. (a common theme)
He who hesitates is sometimes saved.

Lighter, I know what you mean. Apparently some people think proverbs have to be old-fashioned and preferably rural. That's not my view.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: modern proverb
From: Jos
Date: 10 Oct 20 - 10:21 AM

Shouldn't a proverb include an element of advice, or at least useful information?

Not sure if this counts as a proverb but it does offer advice - I remember my mother saying "If you can't go out and enjoy yourself, stay in and enjoy yourself."


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Subject: RE: Folklore: modern proverb
From: Mo the caller
Date: 10 Oct 20 - 11:17 AM

The one I heard from my mother
Be good. If you can't be good be careful.

And the version I heard from my daughter
... If you can't be careful, buy a pram.

The one quoted above about skydiving is from Les Barker. Who twists several sayings in one of his monologues.

Can't find that one online so how about this one of his
A boomerang's not just for Christmas;
A boomerang is for life.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: modern proverb
From: GUEST,paperback
Date: 10 Oct 20 - 03:13 PM

Whatever Hits the Fan is Never Evenly Distributed


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Subject: RE: Folklore: modern proverb
From: leeneia
Date: 10 Oct 20 - 04:29 PM

Jos, that's a good question. I guess it's true that a proverb offers advice. Here's one that does, but it doesn't seem to at first. It's from my husband:

Gravity never gives up.

The reason it's advice is that it's usually spoken when something is missing, and the missing thing is apt to be found under a piece of furniture or somewhere else that gravity took it to.

Let's be careful. Defining proverbs could turn into one of those Mudcat wrangles that never ends, just like defining a folksong.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: modern proverb
From: GUEST
Date: 10 Oct 20 - 05:39 PM

After consulting my bookshelf for the correct details, I can report the following.

In 1969, the book Thank you for the Giant Sea Tortoise was published, containing answers to competitions from New York magazine. One of the competitions was for meaningless proverbs, and these were among the entries that were published:

You can't straighten a snake by pulling it through a straw.

Old goats make good wineskins.

Not every firstborn becomes king.

You can make a pigskin wallet out of a sow's ear.

A short man on horseback can look down on a tall man on the ground.

While three wise men can pull a troika, a fool can be eating kasha.

The stars do not wait for the king's birthday to shine.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: modern proverb
From: Joe_F
Date: 10 Oct 20 - 06:16 PM

When tempted to make a generalization about Christians, try it out on Communists, and vice versa.

The world goes its way past all who will not partake of its folly.

Better to shut your mouth and be thought a fool than open it and remove all doubt.

Ask a foolish question, feel foolish. Don't ask it, stay foolish.

Be sincere: fool yourself first.

What sticks to the spoon doesn't get stirred.

Imprudent sexual activity completes the life cycles of many pests.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: modern proverb
From: Charmion
Date: 10 Oct 20 - 06:23 PM

Time spent in reconnaissance is seldom wasted.

Measure twice, cut once.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: modern proverb
From: Mrrzy
Date: 10 Oct 20 - 06:31 PM

He who hesitates is sometimes saved is James Thurber's:

“The Glass In The Field” By James Thurber

A short time ago some builders, working on a studio in Connecticut, left a huge square of plate glass standing upright in a field one day. A goldfinch flying swiftly across the field struck the glass and was knocked cold. When he came to, he hastened to his club, where an attendant bandaged his head and gave him a stiff drink.

“What the hell happened?” asked a sea gull.

“I was flying across a meadow when all of a sudden the air crystallized on me,” said the goldfinch.

The sea gull and a hawk and an eagle all laughed heartily. A swallow listened gravely. “For fifteen years, fledgling and bird, I’ve flown this country,” said the eagle, “and I assure you there is no such thing as air crystallizing. Water, yes; air, no.” “You were probably struck by a hailstone,” the hawk told the goldfinch.

“Or he may have had a stroke,” said the sea gull. “What do you think, swallow?”

“Why, I—I think maybe the air crystallized on him,” said the swallow.

The large birds laughed so loudly that the goldfinch became annoyed and bet them each a dozen worms that they couldn’t follow the course he had flown across the field without encountering the hardened atmosphere. They all took his bet; the swallow went along to watch.

The sea gull, the eagle and the hawk decided to fly together over the route the goldfinch indicated. “You come, too,” they said to the swallow.”

“I—I—well, no,” said the swallow. “I don’t think I will.”

So the three large birds took off together, and they hit the glass together, and they were all knocked cold.

Moral: He who hesitates is sometimes saved.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: modern proverb
From: GerryM
Date: 10 Oct 20 - 06:54 PM

It's not clear to me how recent a proverb has to be to be considered "modern" for this thread. One of the ones Joe F gave a couple of posts upthread, "Better to shut your mouth and be thought a fool than open it and remove all doubt," goes back over a century. Quote Investigator studies it, and concludes,

"The earliest known appearance of the adage discovered by QI occurred in a book titled “Mrs. Goose, Her Book” by Maurice Switzer. The publication date was 1907 and the copyright notice was 1906. The book was primarily filled with clever nonsense verse, and the phrasing in this early version was slightly different:

"It is better to remain silent at the risk of being thought a fool, than to talk and remove all doubt of it."


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Subject: RE: Folklore: modern proverb
From: Doug Chadwick
Date: 10 Oct 20 - 06:57 PM

Moral: He who hesitates is sometimes saved.

This is already covered by "Fools rush in where angels fear to tread"
and by "Look before you leap"

DC


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Subject: RE: Folklore: modern proverb
From: ketchdana
Date: 10 Oct 20 - 07:24 PM

A couple of Les Barker's monologues on youtube:

[ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U4XD127TgL4 ]

[ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ohneoZKw8es ]


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Subject: RE: Folklore: modern proverb
From: Norval
Date: 11 Oct 20 - 12:54 AM

Test the Covid-19 vaccine on politicians,
If they Live the vaccine is safe,
If they Die the country is safe.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: modern proverb
From: Long Firm Freddie
Date: 11 Oct 20 - 08:55 AM

It ain't what you do, it's the way that you do it.

LFF


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Subject: RE: Folklore: modern proverb
From: Newport Boy
Date: 11 Oct 20 - 11:38 AM

Not really a proverb, but it does offer (negative) advice.

A response to any suggested action (often political) that has little chance of success:

That's about as much use as shouting 'shit' up a dark alley! (My father-in-law)


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Subject: RE: Folklore: modern proverb
From: leeneia
Date: 11 Oct 20 - 03:00 PM

Got it, Mrrzy. I'm an admirer of Thurber and must have picked that proverb up by reading one of his books.

As a matter of fact, I've been reading "The Thurber Carnival" at bedtime, including such favorites as The Secret Life of Walter Mitty and the Night the Bed Fell. I've got to admit that some pieces are just not interesting, but nobody's perfect.

"The Man who Hated Moonbaum" used to baffle me, but now that I've read P.G. Wodehouse's descriptions of life in the movie industry and I've read some livre noir, I understand it.

It's not a proverb, but here's a noir phrase that lives on at my house:

    Hot coffee, black and bitter as sin...

also:

    I gave her one of my cards, one without a picture of a tommy gun
    on it.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: modern proverb
From: Mrrzy
Date: 11 Oct 20 - 03:20 PM

Love that book, leeneia! That quote about the morning coffee wearing off and with it the impression that Things are Right and Life is Good, or something, has stuck with me.
Also the moral from another Fable for our times, something like It is harder to fool little girls nowadays?


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Subject: RE: Folklore: modern proverb
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 11 Oct 20 - 04:14 PM

Yes, it's harder to fool little girls these days. I have that around here somewhere.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: modern proverb
From: Joe_F
Date: 11 Oct 20 - 05:43 PM

The starting point of conversation is contradiction.

There's never time to do it right, but there's always time to do it over.

Those who will not do arithmetic are doomed to talk nonsense.

Be sweet, and you'll be eaten.

Feeling better? Watch out!

The prince of virtues is courage, and the crown of courage is contempt for public opinion.

Truth is too small a fish to be caught in the law's coarse meshes.

If you think you've said something smart about the mind-body problem, try it out on the wave-water problem.

Too lively, and your dead.

If you rest on your laurels, you're wearing them in the wrong place.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: modern proverb
From: GUEST,Allanwill
Date: 11 Oct 20 - 09:46 PM

My philosophy on life? - "Always put off until tomorrow what you should do today". A bit like the Aussie adage when things go pear-shaped - "She'll be right, mate".

One saying that really annoys me - "cheap at half the price" OF COURSE, if it is half the original price it is, ergo, cheaper! Now, if a thing is "cheap at TWICE the price" then it really is a bargain.

Allan


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Subject: RE: Folklore: modern proverb
From: leeneia
Date: 12 Oct 20 - 01:11 AM

Joe, I read something like one yours in the horoscope:

   Slow down, and do it right the first time.

I thought to myself, "That could be a proverb."


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Subject: RE: Folklore: modern proverb
From: BobL
Date: 12 Oct 20 - 03:02 AM

When the only tool you have is a hammer, every problem looks like a nail.

A millisecond is a long time in computing.

Never ascribe to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity (Hanlon's razor).
BUT
Any sufficiently advanced incompetence is indistinguishable from malice (Grey's Law).

When eating wild mushrooms, leave some for the doctor to analyse.

Laughter is the best medicine, unless you've got asthma.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: modern proverb
From: GUEST,Mark
Date: 12 Oct 20 - 06:04 AM

Alanwill: The late great Dave Allen always claimed that the Irish didn't have a word for "manana" as they didn't understand that level of urgency,
and the Irish proverb ran "Never leave till tomorrow what you can leave till next Wednesday, and if it can wait that long, you probably needn't bother".


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Subject: RE: Folklore: modern proverb
From: GUEST,John from Kemsing
Date: 12 Oct 20 - 06:30 AM

Measure twice, cut once.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: modern proverb
From: Black belt caterpillar wrestler
Date: 12 Oct 20 - 06:40 AM

As Les Barker says "It's a small world, unless you are the one that has to paint it".

Robin (doing some DIY).


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Subject: RE: Folklore: modern proverb
From: Doug Chadwick
Date: 12 Oct 20 - 06:53 AM

Rights come with responsibilities.

DC


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Subject: RE: Folklore: modern proverb
From: Doug Chadwick
Date: 12 Oct 20 - 07:12 AM

The further you swing to either left or right, the nearer you come to the same point on the circle.

DC


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Subject: RE: Folklore: modern proverb
From: Doug Chadwick
Date: 12 Oct 20 - 07:51 AM

If a job looks neat, it's probably right. If it's not neat, it can't possibly be right.

DC


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Subject: RE: Folklore: modern proverb
From: GUEST
Date: 12 Oct 20 - 09:20 AM

Power tools enable mistakes to be made more swiftly.

If at first you don't succeed, Google it.

You may kiss a nun once, but don't get into the habit.

When your pigeons come home to roost, don't look upwards.

Dyslexic witches can put a speel on you.

Keep the dream alive; press the snooze button.

Give a person a fish and you feed them for a day; teach a person to use the internet and they won't bother you for weeks (unless you're on F*c*book).

Politics is the second-oldest profession, due to its close resemblance to the first.

A journey of a thousand Youtube videos begins with a single click.


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