English Plus EP 736 | Wisdom of the Ages Word Power

    Have you ever wondered about the power of Proverbs? Well, we're gonna talk today about this power that comprises the wisdom of the ages, and this is exactly what the title of today's word power episode is all about. We're going to talk about Proverbs, and of course, since it's a word power episode, That's not going to be everything.

    We're going to learn 10 new words in context, and let me tell you about these 10 words we're going to learn. In today's episode, we're going to learn the word pithy, terse, ostensible, integral manifest, disparate, apt, ellipsis, meritorious, and inimical. So these are the 10 words we're going to discuss in context of our today's word power episode, Wisdom of the Ages.

    Are you interested yet? Of course you are, but that's not everything. Remember that. You can find a lot of exercises on the website, englishpluspodcast.com. The link I'm going to leave you in the description of the episode is going to take you to the custom post I created for this episode where you are going to find interactive activities that you can do on the website from any device you have, or if you prefer pen and paper, there's also the PDF practice worksheet that you can download and enjoy the many different activities you can find in this PDF practice worksheet. And by the PDF Practice Worksheet is not just about today's episode. I always include a review of the previous four word power episodes. So if you're very serious about building your vocabulary, you should consider downloading the PDF and practice from there.

    And don't forget that I'm also including an interactive transcript of the episode that you can find in the same post. And this interactive transcript will help you see the words I'm saying exactly the same time you're listening to them. And by the way, that's not the only interactive part in them. You can also search for specific words that were included in the episode, and you can jump to these words and listen to them right away.

    It's a really cool tool in your arsenal, so check it out. It's also on the website in this link I'm going to leave you in the description of the episode, but now without further ado, let's start with today's episode. Today's word, power episode, Wisdom of the Ages.

    "If you go barefoot, don't plant thorns." "Haste makes waste." "Variety is the spice of life." These pithy statements are examples of proverbs, often called the shortest art form. They use devices associated with poetry— rhythm, rhyme, and metaphor— to create vivid images that teach life's lessons; sometimes refer to as the wisdom of thousands, the wit of one. Proverbs are chunks of human experience compressed into terse sentences. They tend to have several layers of meaning and apply to various situations. This may explain the ostensible folk wisdom of "Look before you leap" and "Absense makes the heart grow fonder." Proverbs are an integral part of the oral tradition of most cultures and are often similar from one country to the next.

    They tend to follow patterns like where there's X, there's Y, and one of something is worth great amounts of something else. This latter design is manifest in such advice as "One good head is better than a hundred strong hands." And that comes from England, or "A friend is better than a thousand silver pieces." And this proverb comes from Greece, and "A moment is worth a thousand gold pieces." And this proverb comes from Korea. So you see the similarities, right? The origins of Proverbs are disparate, the Bible, mythology and ancient philosophy are all sources of proverbial wisdom. While a few can probably be attributed to a specific person, most were invented by ordinary people in everyday circumstances.

    For example, "Don't buy a pig in a poke" originated hundreds of years ago in the European marketplace where unscrupulous merchants substituted cats for pigs. A poke was a bag for carrying goods and shoppers who thought they were buying a pig in a poke might discover too late that they had bought a cat instead.

    This may also account for the expression, "The cat's out of the bag." Some old sayings like "An apple a day, keeps the doctor away" don't seem valid anymore. Yet in spite of the passing of time, many proverbs remain quite apt. Proverbs, however, can be dangerous— poetic devices like rhythm and ellipsis make their lessons so condensed and powerful that they sound true, but this prepackaged wisdom is not always useful or meritorious.

    For example, "Spare the rod and spoil the child" implies that physical punishment builds good character in children. Yet research suggests that such discipline can cause children to be more inimical than their peers. Nevertheless, Proverbs continue to be treasured heirlooms passed from one generation to the next.

      0:00 / 25:04