Article Title

Rhyme-Forced Proverbs


Eugene Ulrich


A few years ago, when my niece was in grade school, she recited for me some of the proverbs her teacher has been telling them. "But," she added, "I don't like all of them, because their words don't fit together." Not too sure what she meant, I asked her to tell me some that she did like. "Well," she volunteered, "'Birds of a feather flock together' and 'There's many a slip 'twixt cup and lip' and 'Haste makes waste.' But one I don't like is 'All work and no play make Jack a dull boy.' And 'A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush' I don't like, either." Finally, it dawned on me that what she preferred was proverbs that rhyme. "Oh, yes," she remembered, "rhyme is what I mean they ought to do."