Posted by Bob on December 13, 2003
In Reply to: "Does the bear s**t in the woods"? posted by Harold 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.
The three most common in my logosphere (I don't know if such a word exists, but it should) are "does a bear s* in the woods?" "is the Pope Catholic?" and "is a frog's ass waterproof?" Reluctant as I am to repeat cliches, I usually rearrange them into "does the pope s* in the woods? Is a bear Catholic?" etc. Since the frog's anal integrity is less commonly repeated, I leave that intact.