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  1. #1

    Smile Idioms

    Dear Teachers,

    'What goes arond comes around" is it an idiom? I know the meaning but not in depth.

    Your assisstance in this matter would be greatly appreciated.

    Yours truly,

    Elsie E. Shanynun Ling

  2. #2
    Mister Micawber's Avatar
    Mister Micawber is offline Key Member
    • Member Info
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      • English Teacher
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      • English
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      • United States
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      • Japan
    Join Date
    Sep 2004

    Re: Idioms

    I would term it a proverb, with a message similar to the Biblical (Galatians 6) 'as you sow, so shall you reap' (actually, 'whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap').

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2006

    Re: Idioms

    Quote Originally Posted by Mister Micawber
    (actually, 'whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap')
    I have to quibble here. "Actually" the quote is something in 1st-century Koine Greek, the language of the market-place and the tavern. Quoting it in 17-century English doesn't make the translation more accurate; in fact, it's possibly less accurate because it's the wrong register. A much more accurate translation would be: "You harvest what you sow".

    The meaning of both these sayings is roughly in line with the idea of karma -- the real karma, not the mystical version many Westerners prefer to believe in. If I treat other people badly, I can expect to be treated badly in return, although it might not be a very direct route.

    An example of this is in Terry Pratchett's novel Jingo. The city of Ankh-Morpork is on the verge of war. The Patrician, Lord Vetinari, has called together the heads of all the guilds in the city and is explaining that the city has no money to raise an army. The guildmasters are all horrified, but Vetinari points out that they haven't been paying their taxes. The Guild of Lawyers (I think it was) had handed over a very small amount of cash and a few useless bits and pieces, including a Hershebian half-dong, worth a quarter of a penny. The Guild of Accountants had not only not paid any taxes, they had actually demanded a tax rebate of several thousand dollars. "And may I say that what we received," says the head accountant, "included a Hershebian half-dong." At which Vetenari calmly says, "What goes around comes around."

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