[Ads-l] New to me: a saw

ADSGarson O'Toole adsgarsonotoole at GMAIL.COM
Fri Sep 14 22:40:07 EDT 2018


> > - Wit once bought, is worth twice taught.

Arnold M. Zwicky wrote
> the interpretation i had for this from (i think) my teenage years is
> that a lesson you have *bought* -- taken in as your own -- is
> worth twice as much as  lesson people have merely preached at
> you.  but i know nothing about the history.

That is a good interpretation.

Another related possibility: "wit" that is "bought" might refer to
knowledge that is gained via some loss: lost money, damaged resources,
increased pain, alienation of a friend, et cetera.

Hard-won knowledge of this type will be remembered and utilized more
effectively than knowledge that is simply taught (even twice taught).

I think that the gloss Wilson included with his message says something
similar about the modern proverb.

Garson

On Fri, Sep 14, 2018 at 10:24 PM Arnold M. Zwicky <zwicky at stanford.edu> wrote:
>
> > On Sep 14, 2018, at 7:18 PM, ADSGarson O'Toole <adsgarsonotoole at GMAIL.COM> wrote:
> >
> > Below is a proverb containing the words "bought" and "taught" that was
> > circulating by 1678. Its meaning is not clear to me.
> >
> > Year: 1678
> > Title: A collection of English proverbs digested into a convenient
> > method for the speedy finding any one upon occasion: with short
> > annotations: whereunto are added local proverbs with their
> > explications, old proverbial rhythmes, less known or exotick
> > proverbial sentences, and Scottish proverbs
> > Author: John Ray (1627-1705)
> > Publication info: Cambridge [Cambridgeshire]: Printed by John Hayes
> > ..., for W. Morden, 1678.
> > Database: Early English Books Online
> >
> > [Begin excerpt]
> > - Good wits jump.
> > - Wit once bought, is worth twice taught.
> > - A wonder lasts but nine days.
> > - A wooll-seller knows a wooll-buyer. Yorksh.
> > - A word is enough to the wise.
> > [End excerpt]
>
> the interpretation i had for this from (i think) my teenage years is that a lesson you have *bought* -- taken in as your own -- is worth twice as much as  lesson people have merely preached at you.  but i know nothing about the history.
>
> arnold
>
> ------------------------------------------------------------
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