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Re: 'When the going gets tough, the going gets rough"

Posted by Bob on July 19, 2005

In Reply to: 'When the going gets tough, the going gets rough" posted by JP on July 19, 2005

: Can anyone tell me what is the meaning of the phrase 'When the going gets tough, the going gets rough"?

The cliché is 'When the going gets tough, the tough get going," endlessly quoted by football coaches, sales managers, and other neanderthal motivators. It's meant as a slogan to perform by - when situations are difficult, strong people rise to the occasion.

Your quote 'When the going gets tough, the going gets rough" seems like it comes from a realist, bored with that empty platitude. It introduces a cynical truth: when difficulties arrive, life becomes difficult. Not the sort of sentiment for a poster to cheer on the troops, but ....