Curate's egg.

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February 28th, 2013 at 10:11:22 AM permalink
TheCesspit
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
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found out today that this didn't mean what I thought it meant, and I've been using it wrong for a long time. Anyone know what it means and the reference, without looking it up? Wondered if it was my mistake, or a common mistake.
It is said that your life flashes before your eyes just before you die.... it's called Life
February 28th, 2013 at 10:27:01 AM permalink
Nareed
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
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It was all Greek to me.
Donald Trump is a fucking liar
February 28th, 2013 at 10:32:18 AM permalink
AcesAndEights
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
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Quote: TheCesspit
found out today that this didn't mean what I thought it meant, and I've been using it wrong for a long time. Anyone know what it means and the reference, without looking it up? Wondered if it was my mistake, or a common mistake.

Never heard of it without looking it up. How were you using it incorrectly?
"You think I'm joking." -EvenBob
February 28th, 2013 at 11:17:23 AM permalink
Nareed
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
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Quote: AcesAndEights
Never heard of it without looking it up. How were you using it incorrectly?


Same here. And eggs are a popular motiff in scathing rejection letters. One story involves an author complaining to an editor that he didn't even read the whole story. To which the editor replied "I don't have to eat a whole egg to know it's rotten."
Donald Trump is a fucking liar
February 28th, 2013 at 12:43:27 PM permalink
TheCesspit
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 23
Posts: 1929
Quote: Nareed
Same here. And eggs are a popular motiff in scathing rejection letters. One story involves an author complaining to an editor that he didn't even read the whole story. To which the editor replied "I don't have to eat a whole egg to know it's rotten."


Which takes it from the original Curate's Egg catoon in the London Punch...

I was using it to mean an object that was obscure and interesting only to the person collecting it as part of a bigger collection. Not really a good example or classic part of a collection, but for the collector something of interest that an outside observer may wonder why it was included. More like 'Curator's Egg', I guess.

Is there a word/phrase for such an object?
It is said that your life flashes before your eyes just before you die.... it's called Life
February 28th, 2013 at 1:10:11 PM permalink
Pacomartin
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
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Quote: TheCesspit
Which takes it from the original Curate's Egg catoon in the London Punch...


I don't think that it is a very common phrase in America.

I think a lot of sayings are frequently misconstrued.

Shakespeare's line "to the manner born" has been misquoted as "to the manor born" so often for well over a century that the latter phrase is now dominant. People will correct you if you use the original phrase.

Very few people know the original context of "sweet's to the sweet".

I once heard a speaker give a motivational speech where he repeatedly asked us to seek out the "undiscovered country". I assume he has no concept of the original meaning of the phrase.

Nearly everyone uses the phrase "white elephant" to refer to something that was intended to provide value, and now has decayed into something expensive and inefficient. But in context, giving someone a "white elephant" was a vindictive act meant to cause bankruptcy. The gift was never intended to provide value.
February 28th, 2013 at 2:32:19 PM permalink
Nareed
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
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Quote: TheCesspit
I was using it to mean an object that was obscure and interesting only to the person collecting it as part of a bigger collection.
[..]
Is there a word/phrase for such an object?


One man's trash is another man's treasure.
Donald Trump is a fucking liar
February 28th, 2013 at 4:04:35 PM permalink
Nareed
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
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Quote: Pacomartin
I once heard a speaker give a motivational speech where he repeatedly asked us to seek out the "undiscovered country". I assume he has no concept of the original meaning of the phrase.


According to Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country, that would be peace.

I don't think of Trek as a guide to Sheakespearan scholarship, though.

Quote:
Nearly everyone uses the phrase "white elephant" to refer to something that was intended to provide value, and now has decayed into something expensive and inefficient. But in context, giving someone a "white elephant" was a vindictive act meant to cause bankruptcy. The gift was never intended to provide value.


It's a gift one cannot refuse or neglect, but the maintenance of which will lead you to bankruptcy. I think th eoriginal action invovled actual white elephants, but I'm not certain how. Anyway, the gift would cost a lot of money to maintain (expensive), and would provide no benefit (innefficient). So the current interpretation isn't too far off the mark, IMO.
Donald Trump is a fucking liar
February 28th, 2013 at 8:04:23 PM permalink
Pacomartin
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
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Quote: Nareed
According to Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country, that would be peace. I don't think of Trek as a guide to Sheakespearan scholarship, though.

Originally it referred to life after death. And in the previous movie, Shatner inserted an incredible number of lines from Shakespeare to make him sound intellectual.

And while it has been pointed out to me that "undiscovered country" is a vague term, and can be redefined to mean a land where innovation reigns. But there is no point in evoking a classic phrase if you are just going to change it's meaning.

The phrase "sweets to the sweet" were flowers thrown on the grave of a young girl who was subjected to so much stress by scheming men who should have loved her that she commits suicide. Now it is a saying for candy or flowers you give to a date.

Quote: Nareed
It's a gift one cannot refuse or neglect, but the maintenance of which will lead you to bankruptcy. I think the original action invovled actual white elephants, but I'm not certain how. Anyway, the gift would cost a lot of money to maintain (expensive), and would provide no benefit (innefficient). So the current interpretation isn't too far off the mark, IMO.


Well the end result is the same, inefficiency and a massive loss of money. But in the original concept the Thai royals would make a gift of a while elephant to obnoxious courtiers. As a sacred animal it could not be killed but was cared for in a lavish fashion. As a gift it could not be given away. So it eventually ate the new owner into bankruptcy. It was a deliberate act of malice. The elephant did the damage to finances from day one, and it had nothing to do with getting old. The deliberate act of malice is usually missing from the modern usage. Sometimes, the system is efficient for a few years, and then gets old quickly (but sometimes they are inefficient from day one).
March 1st, 2013 at 6:54:04 AM permalink
Nareed
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
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Quote: Pacomartin
Well the end result is the same, inefficiency and a massive loss of money. But in the original concept the Thai royals would make a gift of a while elephant to obnoxious courtiers.


Yes, the malicious intent is missing. But at least the sense of waste and loss of money remains. Other expressions change much more than that. Some don't even make sense.
Donald Trump is a fucking liar
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