I was discussing some poor use of the English language recently and remembered this wonderful book I used at school – ‘First Aid in English’. I have just Googled it and am delighted to say it is still available and, hopefully, still used by children towards the end of primary school (assuming books ARE still used in school)
Amongst its chapters I recall a wonderful section on proverbs. A proverb is a short, sharp saying that expresses a traditionally held truth or piece of advice, based on common sense or experience – e.g. A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush…. Revenge is a dish best served cold…One swallow does not make a summer…that sort of thing.
It got me wondering whether there were any proverbs that may be relevant to our wonderful world of CTRM / software projects…..
If at first you don’t succeed try, try and try again – as a software sales guy, was the first one that occurred to me. In sales, honesty is the best policy as the truth will out, but there’s an exception to every rule and if we were to be economical with the truth we may as well go the whole hog as one might as well be hanged for a sheep as a lamb. Oh OK, I guess in these days of political correctness there may be a vegetarian option to the last proverb. Go the whole pumpkin as you may as well be named and shamed on twitter for destroying a whole rain forest, maybe?
Users of major software systems may have another perspective. A change is as good as a rest, so why not upgrade? Well, a fool and his money are soon parted, and the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence (or maybe hedge??) so if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it! There’s an exception to every rule, and maybe the more things change, the more they stay the same, still nothing ventured, nothing gained – so let’s upgrade now…it’s never too late!
That’s what vendors want to hear of course – Never put off until tomorrow what you can do today. Don’t worry about the price, in for a penny, in for a pound. Don’t spoil the ship for a ha’porth of tar, as money isn’t everything.
Project managers agree that more haste is less speed and that patience is a virtue. No news is good news…so the implementation must be on schedule. There’s no rest for the wicked as procrastination is the thief of time. It should be completed on time, wonders will never cease. Wait a minute – it’s a T&M project so maybe work will expand so as to fill the time available. You pays your money and you takes your choice – you could have gone fixed price – still, better late than never..
The contracts department may disagree but the law is an ass even if the customer is always right. It’s never too late, so no point in applying LDs, everything comes to him who waits. If anything can go wrong, it will – but give credit where credit is due, don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater, we had better not change horses in midstream and had better stick with this vendor. Mind you we shouldn’t have put all your eggs in one basket.
You probably recognised most of the proverbs above, but there are some really weird ones. There are a few that are probably no more permissible in this PC world (small ‘w’ – no advertising allowed in the blog section!!) Here’s a few that caught my attention
‘’A woman is only a woman, but a good cigar is a smoke’’- so this is bad on two counts. Anti-feminist and pro-smoking. I am not going to give my impression of what it may mean, as I’ll never be permitted on this site again!
I can redress the balance with ‘’Behind every great man there’s a great woman’’ – but wait – it says the woman is behind, so that should probably be changed to ‘’in parallel with every great man there’s a great woman’’?
‘’Boys will be boys’’ – is that PC anymore?
‘’Business before pleasure’’ – no chance with that one anymore, especially if you are a politician or a film producer.
‘’Children should be seen and not heard’’ – social services will be on to me for that one.
‘’Give a dog a bad name and hang him’’ – animal rights will be after me.
‘’He who can does, he who cannot, teaches’’ – I can see the teacher’s union loving that one!
‘’It ain’t over till the fat lady sings’’ – this is real trouble…weightism…feminism…how about ‘It ain’t over till the averagely built person sings’?
‘’Let the dead bury the dead’’ – what?? How does that work?? Gary may of course have some theories on that one!!
‘’ Never look a gift horse in the mouth’’ – that’s a well know one – but what exactly is a ‘gift horse’? Is it a horse that is given as a gift? Is it the horse that is giving the gift? Answers on a postcard (anyone under 40 will have no idea what I mean by that – oh and by the way, ‘’ Life begins at forty’’!)
‘’ Many a mickle makes a muckle’’- come on, what is that? Surely many a mickle makes more mickles?
‘’ Many hands make light work’’ – great – who needs wind turbines? We’ll all just wave our hands in the air!
Possibly one of the most confusing ones is ‘’Parsley seed goes nine times to the Devil’’ – I have absolutely no idea where to even start working that one out (apart from Googling it, of course)
‘’The more things change, the more they stay the same’’ – totally barmy in my humble opinion!
Well, as they say, all good things must come to an end – See you later!