Turning a proverb upside-down or inside-out often freshens it and may even give new meaning to a cliché. The ungrammatical state-sponsored gambling slogan "You gotta play to win!" has the more accurate contrapositive "If you don't play, you can't lose!" The "storm before the calm" is just as precise meteorologically as its opposite, and applies to many more human relationships. "A closed mind is a wonderful thing to lose" makes a thought-provoking bumper sticker. When Felix, Fürst zu Schwartzenberg, was asked in 1848 about his country's reaction to Russian aid, he observed that "Austria will astound the world by the magnitude of its ingratitude." The sudden flip at the last word made his comment memorable (and true).

Tuesday, October 26, 1999 at 05:47:59 (EDT) = 1999-10-26


(correlates: NuimisTrivia of 1852, QuantityQuality, HalfRememberedWorlds, ...)