Our Daily Bleg: Got Anything Else Like "Sh*t Happens"?

Here’s the most recent guest bleg from Fred Shapiro, editor of the Yale Book of Quotations. His past blegs can be found here.

Last week about 100 people responded to my blegging for examples of famous computer proverbs. In general, proverb dictionaries are filled with traditional sayings like “A stitch in time saves nine,” ignoring modern proverbs. Yet modern proverbs proliferate constantly and are among our most colorful and popular expressions: “Sh*t happens,” “It takes a village to raise a child,” “Never criticize anybody until you have walked a mile in his shoes,” “The customer is always right,” “Different strokes for different folks,” “The opera ain’t over until the fat lady sings,” “There ain’t no such thing as a free lunch,” “If anything can go wrong, it will.”

For a forthcoming book of modern proverbs, I would welcome suggestions of additional contemporary proverbs of all kinds.

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  1. jep says:

    “It is what it is”

    For the last 3 years people have been spouting this to me.

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  2. Ari says:

    Office Favorites:

    “Make it Work”
    “You’re a smart guy”

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  3. Phil says:

    “Only Nixon could go to China.”
    “You do what you gotta do.”
    “A walk is as good as a hit.”
    “You get what you pay for.”
    “[Something free] is worth what you pay for it.”
    “No matter where you go … there you are.”
    “Your mileage may vary.”

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  4. Larry Sheldon says:

    The “Murphy’s Law” compilations are full of modern examples.

    I think my personal favorite is “To err is human, to really screw things up requires a computer.”

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  5. Harrkar says:

    ‘Same Sh*T, Different Day’

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  6. discordian says:

    It is my firm belief that it is a mistake to hold firm beliefs.

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  7. Phil says:

    “F*** ‘em if they can’t take a joke.”
    “Some days you get the bear; some days the bear gets you.”
    “Keep your stick on the ice.”
    “Go big or go home.”

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  8. Snot Rag Dave says:

    Actually… my favorite Yogi Berra quote…
    “It ain’t over ’til it’s over” definitely belongs in any modern proverb listing… along with his other gems:
    “You should always go to other people’s funerals; otherwise, they won’t come to yours.”
    “When you come to a fork in the road, take it.”
    “You can observe a lot just by watchin’.”
    “A nickel isn’t worth a dime today.”
    and
    “You got to be very careful if you don’t know where you’re going, because you might not get there.”

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