Updated words of wisdom

Sep 20th
Posted by shambo  as Culture, Education, Language


Let me say this about that.

In 1973, Paul Simon recorded the song “Kodachrome” that contained the lyric, ‘When I think back on all the crap I learned in high school, it’s a wonder I can think at all.’  Amen, Brother Simon.  The older I get, the truer this becomes.  And it’s not just the stuff from high school, it’s most of the crap we were taught as kids.  Regrettably, I see the same old jargon being passed down to the kids of today.  If it’s not too late already, I propose we update some of these old axioms before today’s generation of kids become a addled as we were.  Here are a few old sayings I would update:…   

“An apple a day, keeps the doctor away.”

This one should be updated to be more relavent to today’s world by reading:

“No insurance to pay, keeps the doctor away.”

How about this old adage:

“A penny saved is a penny earned.”

Updated to read:

A penny saved is a penny earned.  But a penny earned is a penny taxed.”

This one was a favorite of my grandmother:

A stitch in time, saves nine.”

A modification more relevant to today’s world might be:

“A stitch in time, requires a three hour wait in the emergency room.”

If there were ever an old adage that needed to be updated, this is it:

“All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.”

The  modern version would read:

All work and no play makes Jack a very small minority.”

One more of my Grannie’s favorites:

A watched pot never boils.”

It’s modernized with this slight modification:

A watched pot means your cable is out.”

A dramatic decrease in the education level of today’s high school kids requires a significant change to update the old proverb:

A person is known by the company he keeps.”

The modern version would read:

“A person is known by the name on the Burger King badge he wears.”

New management theory in capitalist countries demanded a modification of one of the most famous of all dictums:

“Never put off until tomorrow what you can do today.”

A new version might look like this:

“Never put off until tomorrow what you can pawn-off on the ‘new guy’ today.”

Some old axioms are just too goofy to update and should be abolished all together.  For example:

“Never look a gift horse in the mouth.”

Where in the hell did this come from?  I know what a horse is; I know what a gift is; and I know what a mouth is.  But what is a ‘gift horse mouth’ ?  No clue.  I suggest changing this saying to: 

Never sing to a wet mule on Thursday.”

Today’s politically correct environment demands new interpretation and amplified sensitivity for a few ancient  proverbs such as:

“The pot calling the kettle black.”

Must be changed to:

We don’t use the term ‘black’ anymore.”

Our hardworking parents taught their kids that:

The early bird gets the worm.”

But today’s kids seem more akin to worms than birds.  Maybe modern interpretation might rotate this adage to the worms point of view:

“The early bird gets the worm.  So a worm who is perpetually late avoids those nasty birds and has all the traits of a good postal worker.”

And, that’s all I have to say about that.





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