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Nov 02, 2006

Make-Your-Own Aphorism

Sometimes it pays to remind people about little tasks that might have fallen through the cracks.  Even smart people forget, as remembered this evening after finally hearing from a usually-responsive person I'd emailed weeks ago.

When he told me, "feel free to remind me if you haven't heard from me," I suddenly heard an old grandpaw voice in my head saying, "I guess it's true that 'a gentle reminder, now and then, is welcomed by the brightest men.'"  I didn't say it out loud, though.  Even though someone quotable said something like that long ago, I was pretty sure that (a) I had just made it up and (b) it didn't need to be mentioned.

But in any case, it did point out that aphorisms, like some jokes, can be generated in a snap if you've got a formula.

So here's today's formula, in case you want to make up your own semi- or pseudo-aphorisms.  Who knows, you might come up with something that eventually gets quoted in the back of Forbes Magazine.

A little _____________, now and then,
is ____________-ed by the ___________-est men.

Feel free to tweak as needed, like "A little flossing, once in a while, is welcomed by a crocodile."  I just made that one up on the spot, too.  See how easy it is?  Seventh grade boys could have a field day with this if you changed one of the words to "Nantucket."

01:00 AM in Recipes | Permalink


I used to have an aphorism generator whose emissions were of the form "Blap is the bleep of blip." I seeded it with found expressions, like "The love of money is the root of all evil," and would get out things like "Borscht is the hallmark of e-mail spam."

Posted by: Joseph H. Vilas | Nov 2, 2006 11:42:39 PM

Joe -- one from your formula, generated by me when I was a high school senior.

"Hominy is the soul of grits."

2 pts. if you can quickly figure out the original that this got rhymed off of. :-)

Posted by: Phil | Nov 2, 2006 11:56:03 PM

Okay, eight days is not too quickly, but... "brevity is the soul of wit"?

Also, didn't Willy Wonka say, "A little nonsense now and then is relished by the wisest men"? In fact, didn't he kind of sing it, in the movie?

Posted by: Jerry | Nov 10, 2006 3:33:58 PM