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Re: Please help again

Posted by R. Berg on October 25, 2002

In Reply to: Re: ESC or somebody please help again posted by jessica on October 25, 2002

: : : Okay well stubborn as a mule was on the paper that my teacher handed out but o'well can you please help me figure out how to either prove or disprove them. Thanks so much

: : : food for thought
: : : in a nutshell
: : : knock on wood

: : I don't understand the assignment. It isn't clear what proving or disproving any of these means. They aren't the kind of thing that can be proved or disproved; that is, they aren't assertions; they aren't "true" or "not true." Each of them, however, has been discussed recently in this forum because other people asked. (Maybe those people were your classmates.) If you look for the phrases on the main Discussion Forum page, you'll find something about the history of each one.

: ya those other disscusions were mine, see the assignment was to pick three or four proverbs and back them up using scinifitic info. With that I have to write a 500-700 word essay and I have no clue what I am doing

Well, it's your essay. I can only make some suggestions.

Get some real PROVERBS. If you have to show that a proverb is valid or invalid, it should be the kind that makes a statement, like "Absence makes the heart grow fonder" or its opposite, "Out of sight, out of mind." Caution: Don't try to "prove" both of these if you like to believe what you write. Here's another one: "The apple never falls far from the tree." That means that grown-up children resemble their parents. It's about character and behavior more than looks. "You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make him drink" has implications for education. "A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush." "Half a loaf is better than none." "You can't have your cake and eat it too." "Enough is as good as a feast." "Where there's smoke, there's fire."

Unless the assignment says so, you don't have to argue purely for or purely against what the proverb says. Many proverbs are too one-sided anyway. Sometimes a bird in the hand (something immediately available) is better, and sometimes two in the bush (a bigger gain that might come later) is better. You can write about ways the proverb is right AND ways it is wrong. If there doesn't seem to be anything scientific to say about the proverb, think of areas of life where the proverb seems to apply and areas where it seems not to. You might look at different times in history; you could take examples from stories or movies; you could take examples from real life (work, school, family life, relationships). Write about those.

Be careful about spelling. That's important for an English class. (It's important in other places, too. You might be surprised how many employers give spelling tests to people who are trying to get jobs.) For example, the correct spelling is "scientific."