Revising old sayings

There are a lot of sayings we toss around in American English (and probably every other language as well), with little or no thought as to what those sayings actually mean, or how they came about. Today I was talking to a friend of mine who has been trying to breed a specific coloration of Basenji for 17 years now, and has finally been rewarded this week with (it looks like) 3 of them.

I was about to say “good things come to those who wait”, but at the last moment I decided that saying is absolute rubbish. Instead I said “good things come to those with patience”.

There’s a subtle difference there. The saying we all know so well implies that waiting is all you have to do. Just sit there. It’ll come to you. Just like a winning lotto ticket, right? Wrong. You have to actually *do* something, and also be patient while things don’t go according to plan. It’s supposed to be a message of persistence and not quitting, not a message of hoping for fate to dump something in your lap.

So let’s get to changing the language, people. Take those old sayings and rewrite ’em. Be persistent about it, and maybe it’ll catch on. 🙂

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