Archive for March 5th, 2011

March 5, 2011

Fool me once …

… shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me!

Will Charlie ever learn??, pic: http://bit.ly/hFhb3i

This is very useful expression that I just recently taught my son.  It means that the first time somebody tricks you or takes advantage of you it is that person’s fault.  But you should learn from that experience and not let the same thing happen to you again.  If you allow people to take advantage of you or fool you a second (or third …) time it is your fault, not theirs.  You should have learned from that mistake.

often just the first part of the expression is used, leaving the rest unspoken – everybody understands anyway.

A famous example of “shame on me” is Charlie Brown in the comic strip “The Peanuts”.  Lucy promises him to hold the football still for him to kick it and every time he takes the leap of faith and tries to kick it she pulls it away at the last minute and Charlie falls on his butt in a spectacular way.  I always hope he eventually says” “Fool me once …..”, alas, he never does.

 

March 5, 2011

The road to hell …

…  is paved with good intentions.

This proverb dates back about a 1,000 years in one form and another and means that – although one might have good intentions – one might end up doing bad things – which, for Christians implies to end up in hell.  Or that our actions have bad results instead of the good ones we have hoped for.

The end of the road to hell, pic: horrorsigns.com

The idiom is also used as a rebuke for somebody who is complaining that he/she wanted to do the right thing but that the consequences were negative nevertheless.  I have also heard it used ironically, implying that whoever had the good intentions did not try hard enough, that intentions are good and nice but not enough to guarantee a positive outcome and more resolve and dedication is necessary.

Example

“I really had planned on visiting you while you were in the hospital, honestly, I had the best intentions but it just never worked out.”

“Yeah, right – the road to hell is paved with good intentions.”