© 2011 John Casimir O'Keefe

Apples and Oranges

There are certain old sayings people say, that just make no sense to me. Things like “Save time” or “Spend time” or even “Waste time” as if time was something that could be saved, spent or wasted – If we could “save time” can we take it out of our “time account” when we have “wasted time” to repay the time wasted? The whole idea about time management seems weird to me, there is no way we can manage time – time passes, and there is nothing we can do to change that reality.

Other sayings like “Gear-up” are so connected to the industrial age, they are frightening. I could never figure out the whole “Knock on wood” thing. People usually say it as they look around the area to see if they can even find wood to knock on – given that most everything today is metal or plastic – you would think they would have looked around for wood before they said it.

Another good one is the, “A penny for your thoughts,” which seems to me to be rather insulting; either they are cheap and will only pay you a penny for your thoughts or they think your thoughts are only worth a penny – either way, it just does not sound good.

But of all the old sayings we have, the one that seems so confusing to me is when people say, “It’s just like comparing apples and oranges” when you are trying to make a point on how things differ between two things. As if there just doesn’t seem to be a connection between the two things you are comparing. They see comparing apples and oranges as if they have nothing in common – as if they are so different, comparison is impossible. But I wonder if that is the case. Sure, there are some differences between apple and oranges, but they have so much more in common.

They’re both fruit

They both grow on trees

They both have peals

They both have seeds

They both give juice

They both are round

They both are filled with vitamins

They both make great sauce

They both have eatable flesh

They both make poor substitutes for a baseball

Sure, there are minor differences, but they still have more in common. Won’t it be better to say something like, “It’s just like comparing monkeys and rocks”? Just saying.

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