Results 1 to 8 of 8
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Chinese
      • Home Country:
      • China
      • Current Location:
      • China

    • Join Date: Jul 2004
    • Posts: 637
    #1

    All that glitters is not gold.

    All that glitters is not gold.

    It sounds in my Chinese ear like this:

    None of the "All" is gold.

    But "All that glitters is not gold" actually meant " something that glitters is not certainly gold."

    So I feel "All that glitters is not gold" sounds weird.

    Could you explain this?

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Polish
      • Home Country:
      • Poland
      • Current Location:
      • Poland

    • Join Date: Sep 2004
    • Posts: 566
    #2

    Re: All that glitters is not gold.

    NewHope,

    Strange as it may sound, my feeling about the proverb's structure is exactly the same. From your post I've learned that the literal meaning of the saying in Polish would be the same as in Chinese! Amazing!

    I guess we just have to accept it as it is without asking the question 'why?'.

    Our version of the proverb translated into English word-by-word would sound something like: 'Not all is gold that glitters.'

    Regards,

    Tee Kay


    • Join Date: Jun 2004
    • Posts: 1,369
    #3

    Re: All that glitters is not gold.

    All (the things) that glitters is gold => if you see something that glitters, it's gold.
    From a purely logical standpoint, the negation of this statement is:
    All (the things) that glitters is not gold => you can see something that glitters but that is not gold.

    FRC


    • Join Date: Apr 2004
    • Posts: 1,814
    #4

    Re: All that glitters is not gold.

    When "not" meets "all" or "both",

    Ambiguity comes to visit "both".



    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • UK
      • Current Location:
      • Laos

    • Join Date: Nov 2002
    • Posts: 57,912
    #5

    Re: All that glitters is not gold.

    Try: Not all that glitters is gold.

  1. TheMadBaron
    Guest
    #6

    Re: All that glitters is not gold.

    If the grammar sounds unusual to the modern ear, it's because the proverb is over 400 years old. It's from Shakespeare's 'The Merchant of Venice', though 'glitters' has come to replace the original 'glistens'.

    In Belmont, Portia and the Moroccan have dined, and he has sworn in the temple to the conditions of pursuing Portia. It is now time for the Prince to face the caskets, each of which has an inscription on the outside to be read. The prince pauses over each casket to guess which contains Portia's portrait. The first casket made of lead reads, "Who chooseth me must give and hazard all he hath." He thinks that lead, being a base metal, is surely worthless and deserves nothing. The next casket, made of silver, says, "Who chooseth me shall get as much as he deserves." Over this, the prince hesitates. He concludes that his birth, breeding, fortune, and grace make him deserving of Portia, not the silver. He passes on to the last casket, made of gold, which tells the suitor, "Who chooseth me shall gain what many men desire." He believes that this is the casket that contains the portrait of Portia since the lady is sought by all the world. He concludes that gold is the only metal worthy of being associated with the portrait of Portia. As he opens the casket, he finds a skeleton's head with a message in its eye socket. It reads, "All that glistens is not gold." The Moor is saddened that his mission has failed and bids Portia a hasty farewell.
    http://www.pinkmonkey.com/booknotes/...Merchant21.asp

    The modern equivalent would be something like 'Not everything that glitters is gold', but the original form sounds more poetic.
    Last edited by TheMadBaron; 18-Nov-2004 at 07:25.

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Chinese
      • Home Country:
      • China
      • Current Location:
      • China

    • Join Date: Jul 2004
    • Posts: 637
    #7

    Okay!

    From your replies, I think it is the rule of poem that makes the proverb seems so unusual.

  2. TheMadBaron
    Guest
    #8

    Re: All that glitters is not gold.

    I'm not quite sure what you mean by 'the rule of poem'. It's a line from a play, not a poem. I just meant that it sounds poetic now because it's old, which is also why it sounds unusual.... but I like it.

Similar Threads

  1. Gold
    By Anonymous in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 08-Oct-2003, 04:28
  2. Gold
    By Anonymous in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 07-Oct-2003, 00:12

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •