Posted by Harold on December 13, 2003
In Reply to: Re: "Does the bear s**t in the woods"? posted by Fred on December 13, 2003
: : The earlier thread about onions led me to think about expressions in English that use a unquestioned known truth to express the truth in another statement. There are a number of these, but one used in the midwest part of the US is the title of this thread. It is used when an individual says something is true -- and compares it to a 'natural truth'. One which is less than PC today is 'is the Pope Polish?'.
: : Are there other examples from the English speaking world of these types of expressions?
: That the current pope is Polish is a contingent truth rather than a "natural truth".
: That triangles have three sides is not a contingent truth and the rhetorical question
: 'Does a triangle have three sides?' does the job you're referring to.
Whereas, 'Is the Pope a Catholic', which is used quite a lot in the UK could be said to be a natural truth since to be other than a Catholic in that position denies the office.