Rated ‘T’ for teens

Famous quotes not always what they seem

As time has gone on, I’ve realized that a lot of quotes that we use are wrong, or they have been altered from the original form. I’ve been called these phrases or been told these phrases multiple times in my life, and I deemed it interesting enough to write about. It also might make people feel better, who have been compared to one of these quotes in a negative way.

Over the years, I have noticed myself becoming a Jack of All Trades. If you don’t know what that is, it’s a person who is good at a lot of things, and not great at anything. Most people usually focus on one talent, as in learning an instrument to the core, or understanding one subject with every fiber of their being. At first, I thought being a Jack of All Trades was a bad thing, until I learned the truth.

I was scrolling through the Internet, as a young adolescent does, and found the real quote. We grew up with hearing, “Jack of All Trades, Master of None.” It used to be a term praising people with multiple talents, until the 17th Century. The original term is, “Jack of all trades, master of none is oftentimes better than master of one.” What it’s trying to say, is that it’s okay to be good at multiple things, and not know one thing perfectly. It’s kind of boring focusing your life on one singular talent.

Another phrase I’ve been told is, “Curiosity killed the cat.” The true, and full phase is, “Curiosity killed the cat, but satisfaction brought it back.” This quote is referring to the cat having nine lives, and that it’s okay to be curious because it’s a natural part of life. Humans are inquisitive beings who want to figure things out. It’s okay to be curious and break boundaries of knowledge, it’s a natural human instinct.

This next quote always brought me down a bit. “Blood is thicker than water.” I didn’t have friends at a young age to grow up with, and it always made me feel as if the bonds I had made later in life weren’t as strong as other people’s. The true quote is, “The blood of the covenant is thicker than the water of the womb.” It’s basically saying that the bonds you choose to form are stronger than the ones you were born into.

“Great minds think alike.” is a quote I’ve heard quite often, I never thought it’d be misused. “Great minds think alike, though fools seldom differ.” Thinking the same thing as people isn’t always a good thing. The original quote’s meaning is saying that you shouldn’t find comfort in other people’s ideas that are similar to your own, because fools think alike as well.

“My country, right or wrong.” is a phrase I’m sure we don’t hear often, but it’s also very incorrect. The original saying is, “My country, right or wrong; if right, to be kept right; and if wrong to be set right.” The quote is pretty self explanatory, but it seems like a quote we need to pay more attention to, and correct the meaning of it.

“Starve a cold, feed a fever.” is one that I haven’t heard before. I was asking a friend for misused quotes and they supplied me with this one and it’s real meaning. “If you starve a cold, you’ll have to feed and fever.” It’s real meaning is that if you don’t take medicine while you have a cold or eat, you’ll just end up with a fever and trying to fix it.

Quotes that we use in everyday life don’t mean what we say they do. Most of them have turned into negative sayings to ridicule people who comply with these quotes. It’s okay to be good at multiple things, it’s okay to be curious, it’s okay to not have a relationship with someone from birth. For the ones turned positive, having the same idea as someone does not make it a good idea, and if something is wrong with your country then you should work towards a goal to fix it.


Taylor Shaffer is a tenth grade student at Central Mountain High School. Taylor has a passion for writing and will produce a weekly column appearing on Tuesdays in The Express community newspaper.