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Today's rubbish, tomorrow's priceless antique

Posted by Pamela on January 09, 2007

In Reply to: "When in doubt throw it out" posted by Bob on January 09, 2007

: : What does the phrase "when in doubt throw it out" means?

: Pretty much what it says: if you're not sure if that milk in the fridge smells a little off or not, don't take chances, discard it. Got a boyfriend who's been mean to you, but you're not sure about his promises to reform? Ditch him. Do there seem to be, too, many, commas in that sentence? Edit them out.

"When in doubt, throw it out" is the battle cry of the minimalist, reduce clutter from your home and life and "live more effectively" school of thinking. It stands in contrast to my mother's philosophy of "never throw anything away - you don't know when it will come in useful" (I think she learned this from my Gran who was constantly (and humiliatingly) walking into antique shops and bellowing "To think I had one of these and I threw it out as worhtless rubbish just after the war ...". "When in doubt, throw it out" may well be a reworking of the jounalist credo "When in doubt, leave it out". Pamela