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An Exception To Every Rule August 26, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Humor, Word Play.

Nothing ventured, nothing gained . . . but look before you leap.


The early bird gets the worm . . . but the early worm gets eaten.

Poisoned Apple

Good things come to those who wait . . . but he who hesitates is lost.


Slow and steady wins the race . . . but good guys finish last.


Ignorance is bliss . . . but know thy enemies.


A rolling stone gathers no moss . . . but haste makes waste.

Pluto-RollerskatingHonesty is the best policy . . . but if you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all.


Absence makes the heart grow fonder . . . but out of sight, out of mind.


A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush . . . but nothing ventured, nothing gained.


Birds of a feather flock together . . . but opposites attract.


Aah . . . that’s better!

Can you think of other perplexing anomalies to the proverbs we parrot?


1. Jill Weatherholt - August 26, 2014

Well now, I think you’ve covered them all, Nancy! Nice list! šŸ™‚

nrhatch - August 26, 2014

This list barely scratches the surface, Jill. There are proverbs, anti-proverbs, counter proverbs, adages, maxims, etc.

But you won’t find me beating a dead horse. šŸ˜›

2. ericjbaker - August 26, 2014

“Good things come to those who wait” is about the worst proverb I can think of. It was probably originated by someone trying to get something somebody else wanted too.

Folk wisdom appeals in it’s simplicity, but as you aptly demonstrated above, navigating life requires a bit more intellectual nuance than a catchy phrase offers or invites.

nrhatch - August 26, 2014

“Good things come to those who wait” followed up with . . . “and the meek shall inherit the earth” ~> sayings designed by power brokers to keep us on the sidelines.

Plus, many proverbs don’t have uniform interpretations.

“A rolling stone gathers no moss.” ~> it’s interpretation depends on whether we see moss as a positive (like profit) or a negative (like moldy sloth).

ericjbaker - August 26, 2014

“… sayings designed by power brokers to keep us on the sidelines.”

Well said, Nancy.

nrhatch - August 26, 2014

To counter the effects of brainwashing, repeat after me:

Life is uncertain . . . eat dessert first.
With two hands!

3. Pix Under the Oaks - August 26, 2014

My Mom definitely made it clear to me that “if you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all” are words to live by. The guilt that is mine after shooting my mouth over something, especially to family, is just not worth it anymore!

nrhatch - August 26, 2014

As long as you’re not left “stewing in your own juices” or “caught between a rock and a hard place” by “biting your tongue. šŸ˜›

Pix Under the Oaks - August 26, 2014

Ha! Not so much anymore.. šŸ˜‰ Better than doing the first two in your comment which I do when I spout off.

nrhatch - August 26, 2014

If “the something” doesn’t continue to bother me, I shrug it off. Life is short. Pick your battles.

But if “the something” is eating away at me (especially if X is treating Y like $%^&), I speak my truth quietly and clearly.

I aim to be Kindly Honest.

“Say what you mean and mean what you say. Those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.” ~ Dr. Seuss

4. NancyTex - August 26, 2014

I think you got them all, NH! šŸ™‚

nrhatch - August 26, 2014

In conjunction with your bathroom re-do: “Well begun is half done.”

Aah . . . that’s better!

Just remember: “Only a poor workman blames his tools.”

NancyTex - August 26, 2014


5. Kate @ Did That Just Happen? - August 26, 2014

LOL, I love seeing them put together like that! Makes for such fun and a good reminder that there are multiple sides to everything – so I should just do what I want! šŸ™‚

nrhatch - August 26, 2014

Exactly! When we look within for guidance, we are more apt to find the right advice at the right time. Using shifting external reference points to guide our actions is apt to make us DIZZY.

6. Silver in the Barn - August 26, 2014

My favorite is already on yours list: Opposites attract/birds of a feather. Opposites attract is the very definition of my husband and me.

nrhatch - August 26, 2014

Same here, Barbara. On paper, we are NOT a good match. But we are compatible in the ways that matter, including a shared sense of humor about life’s anomalies.

7. ashokbhatia - August 26, 2014

Some words of wisdom here!

nrhatch - August 26, 2014

Maybe these folks followed Ben Franklin’s adage ~ Early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise.

8. colonialist - August 26, 2014

Very good! Once bitten, twice shy – but history repeats itself.

nrhatch - August 26, 2014

Thanks, Col! Your thought sparked two more:

* Once bitten, twice shy . . . but if you don’t succeed, try try again.
* Lightning only strikes once . . . but history repeats itself.

9. bluebee - August 26, 2014

Brilliant, Nancy. Is there a counter to “Everything happens for a reason”, except bashing the speaker over the head for their stupidity? šŸ˜‰

nrhatch - August 26, 2014

Everything happens for a reason . . . but random stupidity just happens. šŸ˜›

10. elizabeth2560 - August 27, 2014

“many hands make light work”
“too many cooks spoil the broth”

nrhatch - August 27, 2014

Excellent addition, Elizabeth.

Maybe we have all these conflicting adages because polite folk engaged in proverbial battles to get their way. šŸ˜›

11. Val Boyko - August 27, 2014

I love the fact that we can get to choose whatever quotes and proverbs work for us…. and then realize that the answer lies within.
Wondering … Has the truth been dieted by the internet or expanded?
Val x

nrhatch - August 28, 2014

BINGO! There is no one-size-fits-all-situations proverb. When we’re tuned in to our inner wisdom, anything that “resonates” can be an arrow pointing us in the right direction.

I suspect it depends less on the internet itself (which is just a tool) and more on the operator.

12. jannatwrites - August 28, 2014

Ha! This just goes to show there’s a saying to suit every occasion.

nrhatch - August 28, 2014

Yes! Life is full of anomalies like this. The more we rely on “them” to point us in the right direction, the more apt we are to end up lost. If an adage resonates, I listen. If it doesn’t, I don’t.

13. kateshrewsday - September 1, 2014

Perceptive post! I had never clocked that there are opposite proverbs! Love the Apple logo.

nrhatch - September 1, 2014

The first I noted (or had pointed out) was “absence makes the heart grow fonder” and its corollary “out of sight, out of mind.”

14. Three Well Beings - September 4, 2014

These are just great, Nancy. No wonder I can at times be very indecisive. Weighing both sides can be exhausting. LOL! I never thought about them like this before–quite fun!

nrhatch - September 4, 2014

Yay! I’m glad you got a kick out of this. It’s no wonder we are so often befuddled when we look to others for guidance.

Look deep, the answers lie within.

15. Perfecting Motherhood - September 9, 2014

Haha, excellent! There’s nothing logical in those proverbs and that’s the fun of life.

nrhatch - September 9, 2014

Agreed. Life’s contradictions make the world go round!

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