My friend Kim came back from a training course in Germany, where the tutor tried to persuade her that culture comes from sayings, adages or saws. That set our morning coffee gathering to a lively debate. It feels like a case of the tail wagging the dog or the cart before the horse to me. Surely, it’s our culture that defines our sayings, not the other way around?
We’re not usually very serious for very long and this occasion was no exception. Levity is the watchword, even if I’m the only one who knows what it means. Claire proposed “lol”, though I don’t think that qualifies as a saying. If at first you don’t succeed, maybe sky-diving isn’t for you. If you can keep your head, whilst those around are losing theirs, maybe you’ve misunderstood the situation. Eat, drink and be merry, for tomorrow we may diet. Give a man a fish and he’ll eat for a day; teach a man to fish and he’ll want a quota. Little Jack Horner pulled out a plum and said “where’s my thumb gone?” Procrastination is the thief of time, but so are a lot of other long words. Beauty is only skin deep but ugliness goes right to the bone. It is better to keep your mouth shut, and have everyone think you’re dumb, than to open it, and prove it beyond all doubt. “Hell hath no fury like a woman’s corn” (Taming Of The Shoe).
Culture? Don’t talk to me about culture. Ask the man with the petri dish.