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"to re-invent the wheel" -- why extensions?

Posted by Joel on October 20, 2003

In Reply to: "To re-invent the wheel" -- why extensions? posted by Bob on October 19, 2003

: : Does anyone know of some good extensions on the phrase "to re-invent the wheel"? I mean, phrases like "to re-invent the wheel is usually to come out with a square product" (which I think is not a very good phrase, but illustrates my question).

: : Phrases in favour of or against the idea of re-inventing the wheel. Anyone?

: : joel

: I spent a few days puzzling over this before answering, because I can't see what one can add that would make this phrase better, or clearer, or more effective. I don't beleive it needs to be "explained," as it is easy to understand now. It's a model of economy, so adding words doesn't seem to help. Let's not re-invent this metaphor.

Hi. Thanks. No, I feel no personal and compelling need to re-invent the metaphor, though I suspect others *have* done so. Not necessarily re-invent it, probably elaborate it.

But maybe you are wondering what got me thinking of this, in the first place? Well, it's that I've hear people use the phrase "re-invent the wheel" in both a positive and negative sense. Usually, it is in the negative (meaning a sort of scoffing, that people should not or need not re-do something basic which previous generations have long ago done) -- but not always.