Posted by Lewis on December 18, 2006
In Reply to: Six of one... posted by R. Berg on December 17, 2006
: : : : : : Six to one, half a dozen to another. - If the intended meaning is "same difference", then six of one and half a dozen of another does not work. It refers to two different things grouped by six. However, six to one (person) and half a dozen to another (person) is the same thing said two different ways. Thus, the meaning of the cliche changes depending on wether you use "of" or "to".
: : : : : It would change, but you seem to be one of the very few persons who misquotes the cliche. I did a Google search of "six to one, half a dozen to another" (your version) and got 7 hits. I then entered "six of one, half a doaen of another" and got 45,000 uses.
: : : : And the version I use "six of one half dozen of the other" gets 24,200. Pamela
: : : By the way, I don't agree with the logic that "six of one, half dozen of the other" can't mean "same difference" because it "refers to two different things grouped by six". It means that "six" and "half a dozen" are exactly the same thing. So if there was an arguement between person A and person B and person A says "We need to get more people to attend church" and person B says "No! We need to get people to recognise the importance of religion" and I say "Well, it's six of one half dozen of the other" then this indicates that I think that there is no difference between attending church and recognising the importance of religion. Pamela
: : Language is rarely, if ever, logical but, while we're being excessively logical, John with 6 oranges is hardly the same as Judy with 6 oranges. John and Judy aren't the same. 6 oranges given to a millionaire is nothing, while 6 oranges given to a starving person is a fortune so in that case even the oranges aren't the same.
: I've always heard "it's six of one and half a dozenof the other," never the version with "to." And the meaning isn't "same difference"; it's "no difference, at least practically speaking." Yeah, okay, that's how people use "same difference," but "same difference' ought to be bound, gagged, and thrown into the same dungeon as "I could care less." ~rb
in my experience, "six of one, half dozen of the other" is usually used to say that two people are equally to blame, often for starting an argument. it is supposed to convey that there a re two equally (in)valid viewpoints and that both people are no more right than the other in appealing for outside support.
it implies that the people are both in the wrong - but equally so.