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Easier Living ☼

Blunt telling can be had through proverbial devices, including slamming.

Excellent proverbs tend to make life more cosier.

1. Fair and fit tutoring can be had by proverbs - that's one of the oldest lessons around.

Literate societies have collected proverbs in large numbers. The study of folklore in the 1900s brought renewed interest in the proverb as a reflection of folk culture too. Good use of proverbs depends on skilled estimates of typical degrees of plausibility under special circumstances for each.

Many languages use rhyme, alliteration, and wordplay in their proverbs. Various poetry-attuned devices can amount to get understanding across.

1. Love the dear proverb like lyrical strains also.

One of the earliest English proverb collections is Proverbs of Alfred, an early English poem of religious and moral precepts. It may have been composed in the late 1100s. In the poem there is a series of 35 sayings that contain proverbial instructions. The precepts fall into three groups. They are matters of (1) public interest; (2) personal conduct; (3) and parental advice to "my son so dear". [Baugh 153] Here are some thoughts in it:

Cnfide not too much in others; a fair apple is often bitter inside.

Do not tell a sorrow to one who is a betrayer." [Cf. Baugh 153; Dunn and Byrnes, 40-48]

Elegant sayings may become proverbs, and proverbs tend to form part of ethical codes of behaviour or half-norms.

3. Some proverbs relate to odds in life.

In a culture or class several proverbs reflect a canon of common sense or hearsay, as the Proverbs of Alfred. Many such strands combine much.

Handed-over proverbs had better be sifted with a view to how plausible they are in this and that context, and whose interests they serve for most part. There is also a need to consider how beneficial the underlying attitudes and norms are for democratic societies and against being class-ridden, for example.

The use of proverbs in literature and oratory was at its height in England in the 1500s and 1600s. ◊

Proverbs are extracts of life experiences. As for the best-known collection of proverbs in North America, Poor Richard's Almanac by Benjamin Franklin, many of Franklin's sayings were traditional European proverbs reworked by him.

Proverbs were used in ancient China for ethical instruction, and the Vedic writings of India use them to expound philosophical ideas.


Councelling that comes too late and uses much exaggeration, does not appear to be truly helpful. It rests with the users to decide about such facets of living too.

Proverbs of different cultures have different looks and profiles, and what literary means that are incorporated in proverbs, are well diversified. There is a wide range of literary means apart from alliteration, end rhymes, couplets, exaggerations, contrasting and so on.

It very often rests with the users to decide how likely it is that a proverb's central message(s) come true in various settings. Odds may be guessed if statistics are lacking.


Proverbs talk, Literature  

Baugh, Albert C., Kemp Malone, Donald Frederic Bond, George Wiley Sherburn, Samuel Claggett Chew, Richard Daniel Altick, A Literary History of England. 2nd ed. London: Taylor and Francis, 1967:153.

The full text: Skeat, Walter W. The Proverbs of Alfred. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1907.

Dunn, Charles W., and Edward T. Byrnes. Middle English Literature. Ill ed. London: Routledge, 1990:40-48.

Harvesting the hay

Symbols, brackets, signs and text icons explained: (1) Text markers(2) Digesting.

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