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58

Two thoughts are run together: Familiarity breeds contempt {knowing people very well lets you see their faults} Familiarity breeds children {physical familiarity between the sexes leads to children} Hence Familiarity breeds contempt and children. A similar example of this particular way of playing with words (called Zeugma) is: “You are free to execute your ...


57

Sounds like you are not seeing the way the sentence breaks into phrases. Think about it like this: He that breaks a thing / to find out what it is / has left the path of wisdom. Loosely, it means: "If you break something in order to fully understand it, you are a fool."


53

Semantically, none is neither singular nor plural. It's less than one and much less than many. So its subject agreement is entirely arbitrary. Plus, negatives are noted for their funny grammar. Positive quantifiers are either singular in verb agreement, like each and every, or plural, like all. None can be either, depending on context. Every boy is ...


52

It's a joke. It's common to talk about "Mr. Right" ... meaning, the ideal man for marriage. On the other hand, people who are "full of themselves", who talk too much, who always think they know best ... they have an "I'm always right" attitude. Note that if your name was "Something Right" (say, John Right, or Joe Right) ... it's a bit like that: first name ...


45

Heywood is rhyming "thick enough" with "quick enough" and at the same time making a pun. The word "quick" not only relates to speed, but to the state of being alive. We still use it in that sense today in the expression "the quick and the dead", and when we tear a fingernail "down to the quick". Apparently Essex cheese had a reputation for being infested ...


43

According to Oxford Online Dictionaries, either is correct: It is sometimes held that none can only take a singular verb, never a plural verb: none of them is coming tonight rather than none of them are coming tonight. There is little justification, historical or grammatical, for this view. None is descended from Old English nān meaning ‘not one’ ...


41

Unlike the earlier reply, I would interpret that sentence with the quotes around "cure". I think they were probably added as an afterthought, after cure had been uttered, to indicate that it was not really a cure that was being described. It is unclear what is intended when the quote...unquote are adjacent, but it is often used that way. I would try to ...


38

Several sources I've checked attribute this quote to an Afghan proverb. The meaning of the second part is clear: time is on our side. But what does the "watches" in the first part refer to? Benjamin Harman's answer argues that the saying is a double entendre between "watch" as in "wristwatch" and "watch" as in "...


37

For those whose first language is not English What other answers have not explained so far is that the phrase "familiarity breeds contempt" is a very well known proverb in English that came about long before Mark Twain added the second part. De Deo Socratis (On the God of Socrates)... This treatise ... contains a passage comparing gods and kings ...


32

So far nobody has hit quite the right note on the quote. I would parse it this way: Life is short, and nothing brings that home like reflecting on how little we have seen and done at the point when time is impatiently hurrying us off the stage. The tragedy is that we haven't really lived what we estimate to be full, long lives; for most, decline and death ...


28

In English, people more commonly put the "quote unquote" before the item that is to be quoted. However, your example seems to put it after what is being quoted. This is meant to say that slowing disease doesn't really cure aging. You will still age even if you have no diseases. Therefore it isn't a cure, but a "cure". Here are some quote unquote quotes from ...


26

The sentence you provide, Hasin, is not the same as "Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity," which as Gnawme points out, is an adage known as Hanlon's Razor. Hanlon's Razor includes the moral premise that you should "assume good faith" is at work, even though damage has occurred, whenever possible. Alexandre Dumas is ...


23

It's the original Hanlon's Razor Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity. cast in the form of Clarke's Third Law: Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic. Loosely translated, it means that someone might have done something because they were just stupid, and not because they wanted ...


22

In this case ... for an end is used to mean "for a purpose". Another example of this use case is "to what end", or "means to an end". Knowing this, the meaning of the quote is clear: If you become friends with someone in order to get something (or any purpose other than friendship), that friendship will not last life-long (or as the quote says, "...


19

My understanding of this line is: Incompetent individuals, by definition, do not possess skills and wisdom. Therefore when they have (quickly) exhausted their small arsenal of half-cocked and ill-fated techniques to solve the extant problem, they invariably fall upon violence as their last hope. The implied corollary is that anyone using violence to solve ...


17

The episode transcript earlier explains LORELAI: This isn’t a singles bar, Mom. It’s a sixty-forty bar. EMILY: A what? LORELAI: Sixty-year-old men hitting on forty-year-old women, divorcees mostly. When later the expression you mentioned comes up it refers to that: EMILY: Yes, by sitting me at a bar where you practically forced me to engage in ...


16

It means: If you break something to find out what it is, then you have left the path of wisdom. You are misparsing the actual constituents here: “is has” is not part of the same constituent, but rather two separate pieces of two completely separate constituents. That is is actually part of the noun phrase serving as the sentence subject, while that has ...


16

Man is being used as a singular collective term describing all of humanity. I believe that the point is that "Gods" and "Kings" would be separate entities (or special distinctions) that would be distinguished within mankind or distinct from mankind. The point of the phrase is to say there is only one group, "Man", and no important other distinctions or ...


15

Your third example is correct. Quotes are composed of two parts; the speaker tag to identify the speaker, and the actual quote itself. For example: Einstein said "A person who never made a mistake never tried anything new." Or for your example: Sally said "I went to the movies." But you can also paraphrase what they said and integrate it into the ...


15

It means that some people are unteachable: so dense or so close-minded that they are incapable of comprehending or accepting what you tell them unless it conforms to what they already know or believe. Incidentally, this Yogi-ism is often attributed to Louis Armstrong, probably through confusion with what Satchmo is said to have told somebody who asked him ...


15

The word I've heard used for this on the linguistics blog Language Log is snowclone (it's derived from phrases of the format "If Eskimos have N words for snow, X surely have Y words for Z.") Here's a Language Log post that describes the moment the word was coined and that links to some examples: Snowclones: Lexicographical Dating to the Second And here's ...


14

"Avoid like the plague" is an idiom which means to ignore or keep away from someone or something totally.. Refer http://idioms.thefreedictionary.com/avoid+like+the+plague


14

What Franklin didn't say Like FumbleFingers, I can't find any attribution of the quoted language to Franklin before about the turn of the twenty-first century. (A Google Books search finds one instance from the year 2000, in 2001 Librarian's Engagement Calendar and Almanac.) On the other hand I did find the following quotation attributed to another popular ...


13

As Josh61 observes (in a comment above), the saying seems to have emerged in the middle to late 1960s in the context of education. A Google Books search finds seven occurrences between 1966 and and 1968—virtually all in the context of education—and nothing prior to that. I get the impression that the quotation, unearthed from an ancient Chinese source or not,...


12

First, note that exclamation marks and question marks do not always end a sentence. While it's not common in contemporary English, writers sometimes use these marks after a word, phrase, or clause in mid-sentence. That's the case in your example sentence. In modern writing, alas! might be set off with dashes or parentheses: But (alas!) this kind heart had ...


12

A preliminary digression Although I want to provide a useful answer to the poster's specific question, I must first point out the inaccuracy of Dougvj's answer. According to that answer, the phrase "We can predict everything, except the future" may originate in a longer block of observations about the future— The future isn't what it used to be. ...


12

As modern German, French, and Italian still do today, early modern English formed the perfect tenses of intransitive verbs of directed motion and some changes of state not with a form of to have, but to be and the past participle. I have become is the modern grammatical equivalent of the archaic I am become, but far from equal in rhetorical power. This ...


11

The phrase "stupid question" does not appear in Stephen King's Under the Dome. (I checked online.) The following King line (as noted above by Jim) does appear in The Wind Through the Keyhole: The only stupid question, my cullies [my friends], is the one you don't ask. This means that it's stupid to refrain from asking a question that you fear has an ...


11

As almost everybody else here mentions (not "mention" :D), none comes from not one, so grammatically, it should be used as a singular (it baffles me how some people conclude the opposite from the same fact), similar to the usage of every: Usage Note: Every is representative of a group of English words and expressions that are singular in form but felt to ...


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