They go where they please

Posted by Bob on December 31, 2004

In Reply to: They go where they please posted by ESC on December 31, 2004

: : "They go where they please, and please where they go." Said of butterflies, but with reference also to cats, by a character on the Animal Planet channel on American TV. I believe I've heard the saying elsewhere, but in context it was very interesting. An old gent apparently on his uppers was caring for an injured cat he had found in the street.
: : A comment by ESC on another thread (third down from this, I think) rang a bell with me. Often she hears or reads a phrase that she just encountered on Phrase Finders, or reads a phrase on Phrase Finders which she has just heard or read elsewhere. In my experience, many common phrases or sayings do not come easily or accurately to my tongue until some particular context presents itself into which the saying just seems to spring, So if I get it wrong, fellow Phraseheads, it may be because the right context wasn't there. SS

: There is a word for encountering a word or phrase right after you've learned the meaning. I can remember who said it -- TV newsman Harry Reasoner. But I can't remember the actual word. Very annoying.

It's called reticular activation. Having just learned something, you are alerted to its existence, and it pops up everywhere. Buy a certain brand of car, and you'll see it on the streets. They were there all along, but you're primed to see it.