Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Aphorism

An aphorism is a short statement of fact or opinion. They're often catchy and quotable. If you snooze you lose, All for one and one for all, Forgive your enemies but remember their names, Little strokes fell great oaks. Actually oaks feature quite a lot, From little acorns grow mighty oaks, Storms make oaks grow stronger roots, Today's oak is yesterday's nut which held its ground, The only cure for sea sickness is to sit with your back against an oak tree.

Even when aphorisms are opinion and/or wrong they're stated as facts eg Lightning never strikes the same place twice, Posession is nine tenths of the law, All things come to he who waits.

Sometimes they're designed to encourage better behaviour or spur us to action, If you're not part of the solution you're part of the problem, Genius is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration, Nothing ventured nothing gained. They can also suggest a deeper meaning, All that glitters is not gold, You can lead a horse to water but can't make it drink.

Aphorisms often contradict each other, Oil and water don't mix, Opposites attract, You're never to old to learn, You can't teach an old dog new tricks.

One of my favourites is, Keep your powder dry. It's good advice.


14 comments:

Author R. Mac Wheeler said...

I have one for you, out of my current novel in edit:

It isn't wise to lie to a woman.

Linda G. said...

I've always been fond of "Happy wife, happy life." ;)

Rosemary Gemmell said...

Hadn't heard all those about oaks!

Frances Garrood said...

I'm still trying to picture you on board a boat with your back to an oak tree, Patsy, but somehow it doesn't quite work. But I love aphorisms. Many are so witty.

Teresa Ashby said...

Hadn't heard the oak tree curing seasickness... but it's left me with a picture of someone sitting on the deck of a ship leaning up against an oak tree :-) x

lizy-expat-writer said...

Is that why ships' masts are made of oak? I wonder.

Maggie May said...

A cross between a proverb and a cliche maybe?

Patsy said...

No it isn't, R Mac. Probably not wise to lie to anyone - especially if your memory is like mine!

Patsy said...

That's a good one, Linda.

Patsy said...

Hopefully you now have your ful quota of oak quotes, Rosemary.

Patsy said...

I've sat next to an olive tree on a ship, Frances - don't think there's a photo of it though.

Patsy said...

I'm sure it would work if it could be done, Teresa.

Patsy said...

OK, Lizy brace yourself as I slip back into my old day job for a moment ... Although the hulls and decks of sailing ships were often made from oak the masts were usually pine. These trees are taller and straighter, which meant that in the early days a whole trunk would form the mast. Later they were cut and joined together so the masts could be even bigger. Pine is lighter than oak and more flexible, making it a better choice the the job.

Patsy said...

Some have become cliched haven't they, Maggie?