Рефераты. The Proverbs Are Children Of Experience (Пословицы - Дети Опыта)

The Proverbs Are Children Of Experience (Пословицы - Дети Опыта)

Tatiana Yevich

English 101

Research Paper


Rick Pederson

The Proverbs Are Children Of


It would appear that nothing could be easier than writing down the

definition of a proverb. Where did a proverb come from? Where can it be

used? Proverbs are widely used in the society on the regular basis. Some

scholars and popular writers have claimed repeatedly that proverbial

language has passed from usage; however it remains an easily proven fact

that proverbs are not “passeґ” and definitely not dead. This form of

language helps to express our thoughts more exactly and vividly. Proverbs

contain wisdom, humor, and usually fit many purports.

The Oxford Dictionary of English Proverbs defines a proverb as a

sentence that has been developed orally and is still used by the people of

a region. It has usually come about from experience, and it is a statement

that teaches learning within an experience. The World Book Encyclopedia

gives a different explanation of the word: Proverb is a brief saying that

presents a truth of some bit of useful wisdom. It is usually based on

common sense or practical experience. The effect of a proverb is to make

the wisdom it tells seem to be self-evident. The same proverb often occurs

among several different peoples, True proverbs are sayings that have been

passed from generation to generation, primarily by word of mouth. They may

also have been put into written form. The Book of Proverbs In the Hebrew

Bible, or Old Testament, is the most notable collection of such sayings.

They include:

. Hope deferred makes the heart sick.

. A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches.

. A soft answer turneth away wrath.

. Pride goeth before destriction, and a haughty spirit before a fall.

In ancient Israel, children were educated primarily at home,

and proverbs were used to teach them to become successful and responsible

adults. Proverbs have not lost their well-established popularity, and they

continue to be ever present, even in a modern technological society like

that of the United States of America. This has recently been made

abundantly clear by the thousands of proverbs registered in A Dictionary of

American Proverbs ( New York: Oxford University Press, 1992) edited by S.A.

Kingsbury, K.B. Harder.

. Early to bed, and early to rise, make a man healthy, wealthy and


This is an old proverb well known in many countries that has not passed

from its usage. Proverbs both old and new, continue to serve us well as

concise statements of apparent truths. In everyday life proverbs name

social situations, that is, they are used to communicate our general human

concerns in traditional language. By employing proverbs in our speech we

wish to strengthen argument, express certain generalizations, influence or

manipulate other people, rationalize our own shortcomings, question certain

behavior patterns, satirize social ills, and poke fun at ridiculous


. Saying without thinking is shooting without aiming.

There are no limits to the use of proverbs, and each individual

proverb may be used in many ways depending on its context. There are

hundreds of proverbs dealing with the body, work, love, friendship, death,

weather and more. For example:

. Kiss and be friends.

. Two heads are better than one.

. Love is blind.

. One hand washes other.

. A good beginning makes a good ending.

. It is better to do well then to say well.

These are the examples of proverbs that are based on friendship and love.

Some folklorists are now arguing that most weather proverbs are not

proverbs at all but rather superstitions couched in proverbial language

(Mieder, Wolfgagng 12). Nevertheless, we would still argue that such texts


. Lightning never strikes twice in the same place.

. Make hay while the sun shines.

These are proverbs, especially since they are usually used in a figurative

and not in a literal sense. Medical proverbs are also widely used by people

all over the world. Here are some proverbs that are very popular:

. An apple a day keeps a doctor away.

. A disease known is half cured.

. The doctor is often more to be feared than the disease.

. Health is not valued till sickness comes.

. Bitter pills may have blessed effects.

Proverbs provide humor in a sarcastic way. Depending on the

specific proverb a person can identify an action and its consequence. For


. Do not do all you can; spend not all you have; believe not all you

hear; tell not all you know.

This proverb explains that one should use common sense as well as sensor

ones speech in relationship to other people. Another example of sarcastic

proverbs can be proverb:

. A man can work from sun to sun, but a woman’s work is never done.

Proverbs and their value systems give us some basic structure, and if their

worldview does not fit a particular situation, they can be quickly changed

into revealing and liberating anti-proverbs. Proverbs are also used as

idioms; every language has its own. An idiom usually consists of a group of

words, which is either meaningless or absurd if the words are understood to

mean what they usually do.

Mostly short proverbs can be used as idioms. For example:

. Die with one’s boots on.

This proverb (idiom) means expire while working, keep working to the end. I

some languages proverbs may occur as clichйs or old proverbs. Clichйs are

trite, worn out expressions. While they are acceptable in conversation,

they should be avoided in writing. Here are some examples of such event:

. Off the wall. Means to be not well reasoned.

. Sound as a dollar. Means sensible.

A small sentence as proverb also contains grammar rules and tones of

vocabulary that is why I would claim that proverbs could help a great deal

to learn a foreign language like English and make the process of learning

more interesting. Proverbs contain such grammar rules as: degrees of

comparison of adjectives, gerund construction, construction “there is”,

“there are”, formation of noun plurals, formation of present, past and

future tenses, antonyms and synonyms, and most of irregular verbs.

Proverbs help to remember gerund construction, which does not occur in any

other language but English.

. Saying without thinking is shooting without aiming.

. Seeing is believing.

Constructions “there is”, “there are” are also do not exist in most of

the languages they are not very hard to remember but it is more interesting

to learn it with the help of the proverbs. For example:

. There is no place like home.

. There are more ways to the woods then one.

. There is no rose without a thorn.

. There is no fool like an old fool.

Although many proverbs have been forgotten there still some that

will forever be used. With a new generation, new technology and new lingo

there will be more proverbs to come and more to be forgotten. People will

continue to use old and new proverbs, therefore they will never die. They

are an important part of learning and life in general.

2012 © Все права защищены
При использовании материалов активная ссылка на источник обязательна.