Not sure that’s actually ChineseJanuary 24, 2020 Tim WorstallLanguage20 Comments “It’s better,” the Chinese proverb goes, “to light a candle than curse the darkness.” It’s in the King James, isn’t it? previousErr, yes?nextAs I’ve been saying 20 thoughts on “Not sure that’s actually Chinese” Rob Moss January 24, 2020 at 9:50 am Romans 13:11 And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed. 13:12 The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light. Apparently, the precise phrase comes from William Lonsdale Watkinson’s “The Supreme Conquest, and other sermons preached in America” in 1907. https://www.phrases.org.uk/meanings/its-better-to-light-a-candle-than-to-curse-the-darkness.html Hallowed Be January 24, 2020 at 10:08 am In a hotel on my todd, opened up a Gideons new testament KJV version (if that’s not typical- this was Virginia). Opened at random and started to read. Came across the phrase and “he gave up the ghost” thought ah ..so that’s where that comes from. You ghost/ your spirit / your soul ok , never quite had pieced that together before, but obviously in the context of the story it was clear. Ananias and Sapphira had agreed to sell their property and give half into the apostles common pot. Turned out they lied about the sale amount and were (separately) confronted by peter upon which instantly “gave up the ghost” – died. It left me thinking “Did Peter and the other apostles just murder 2 people for money?”- ever since its been a good question to put to people on the doorstep who want to talk about the Bible. Bloke in North Dorset January 24, 2020 at 10:11 am Being in the Bible doesn’t stop it being originally a Chinese proverb nor is there any reason why variants of it couldn’t have been developed independently. DocBud January 24, 2020 at 10:30 am Yes, BiND, but it is essential we establish who is guilty of cultural appropriation. Steve January 24, 2020 at 11:04 am I don’t think it’s Biblical or Chinee – it’s that traditional source of Guardian wisdom: the first search result on Google bloke in Germany in New Jersey January 24, 2020 at 11:18 am Ching James? dearieme January 24, 2020 at 11:45 am “the Chinese proverb goes” We used to say that as “Confucius he say”. Saved a syllable too. Gamecock January 24, 2020 at 12:25 pm A Scottish phrase I use a lot: “There’s no such thing as bad weather, just inappropriate clothing.” A few years ago I looked it up. The internet credited it to about 90 countries. My Scottish phrase is universal. Did it originate with the Scots? Did it develop independently? No way to know. It is enough of a universal truth that it could have developed independently. ‘Light a candle’ is universal, too, but it’s hard to imagine people all over the world having to be told. dearieme January 24, 2020 at 12:42 pm @Gamecock, no true Scotsman would say “inappropriate”. He might say “unsuitable”. Or, in case the pun there were to be missed, “There’s no such thing as bad weather, just a lack of tweed.” Patrick January 24, 2020 at 1:19 pm Confucius say: Man who go to bed with problem on his mind wake up with solution in his hand Patrick January 24, 2020 at 1:19 pm Confucius say: Man who put penis in biscuit barrel must be fucking crackers! John B January 24, 2020 at 1:31 pm The Chinese saying is : many hands make light work. bloke in spain January 24, 2020 at 1:33 pm The bit chinoiserie I’ve regularly used is “Did you know the chinese idiogram for ‘trouble’ is two women under one roof?” I’ve no idea if it’s true, but it’s been known to shut them up for a while.. Chris Miller January 24, 2020 at 2:55 pm “There’s no such thing as bad weather, just inappropriate clothing.” A favourite saying of Alfred Wainwright (pbuh) – best pronounced in a broad Blackburn accent. I’m sure he laid no claim to its originality. John Wilkinson January 24, 2020 at 3:47 pm Confucius he say, “Man with holes in pockets feel cocky all day.” Confucius he not say, “What time you go dentist?” “Tooth hurty.” Apologies. Nautical Nick January 24, 2020 at 5:04 pm Talking of which, how many Microsoft engineers does it take to change a light-bulb? None at all; they just treat darkness as the new industry standard… Theophrastus January 24, 2020 at 6:55 pm https://quoteinvestigator.com/2017/03/19/candle/ theProle January 24, 2020 at 11:42 pm @Hallowed Be The issue with Ananias and Sapphira was the untruth, not the lack of generosity. They were free to keep as much of the money as they wished. The problem was that they wanted the cudous from having sold up and given the cash away, without actual being nearly as generous as they claimed to be. The point of the episode is “don’t try to lie to God”, not “you must sell all your stuff and give it to the church”. I’d expect any door knocking Christian to be able to explain that no problem (although some of the more weird sects may find that harder – they often don’t encourage their followers to actually study much of the Bible) Roué le Jour January 25, 2020 at 12:15 am “Light a candle” is a truism that provides an insight into human nature, i.e. that there are people who would prefer to whinge about misfortune rather than do something about it. (With a side order of “It’s somebody else’s fault but not mine.”) For example, complain about CO2 rather than work to improve our nuclear power technology. That these people need a sharp talking to is the point of the story. Anyway, as the running Star Trek gag has it, “It scans better in the original Klingon.” Bloke in Costa Rica January 25, 2020 at 4:33 am Well blow me down, and for all these years I thought it was, “it is better to light a fart than to curse the darkness.” The things you learn on this blog. 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