Common Proverbs Contradicting Common Sense

| 1 Comment

Many people have heard of proverbs, whether it be on someone's 'Favorite Quotes' on Facebook or from a fortune cookie (nowadays, they're usually sayings rather than fortunes). They're also used to support specific situations. When someone criticizes your aptitude to double check your answers in a test, you may retort with: "Better safe than sorry"; When trying to be inclusive, you may say, "The more, the merrier". However, our common sense overlooks the contradictions in proverbs to cater to our circumstances. An example being: "Absence makes the heart grow fonder" versus "Out of sight, out of mind". That doesn't mean that they're both false; they're just situational. I've thought about the aforementioned set of proverbs very much as I moved out of my home and into the dorms: Would my family miss my presence at home or would they move on and adapt? In the beginning of my stay, I barely ever called my parents; they would call me. They wanted to know the ins and outs of my lifestyle and made sure I was situated. Lately, I've been calling more than I've been receiving. I could easily use both sayings to generalize the situation.
Why do proverbs make sweeping generalizations, and why are they made from dual perspectives? Perhaps they are due to a tendency to vindicate one's actions or beliefs. What do you think is considered common sense?
List of common proverbs and their contradictions:
http://www.rinkworks.com/words/proverbs.shtml

1 Comment

I like your idea that we tend to believe things that vindicate our own actions or beliefs at the time...I think that is probably a true analysis...

Leave a comment

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by tranx585 published on October 1, 2011 2:19 PM.

Basketball Belly was the previous entry in this blog.

"Do we construct our own worlds?" is the next entry in this blog.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.