LINGUIST List 7.1286

Sat Sep 14 1996

Disc: "Sitting on the fence"

Editor for this issue: Ann Dizdar <dizdartam2000.tamu.edu>


Directory

  1. Mark Mandel, fence-sitting
  2. Lou Burnard, RE: 7.1258, Sum: "Sitting on the fence"

Message 1: fence-sitting

Date: Wed, 11 Sep 1996 16:13:01 CDT
From: Mark Mandel <Markdragonsys.com>
Subject: fence-sitting
Bert Peeters quoted one of his respondents thus:

<<<
Peter Daniels: Why would failure/refusal/inability to make a choice
ever be regarded favorably? I.e., do you have any proverbs or
catch-phrases that consider vacillation a virtue?
>>>

Sitting on the fence is more about hesitation ("I will not choose
either A or B yet") than about vacillation ("I like A... no, B... no,
A... well, B has its benefits..."). How about "Look before you leap"?
(Mandel's Law: "For every proverb there is an equal and opposite
proverb.")

 Mark A. Mandel : markdragonsys.com
 Dragon Systems, Inc. : speech recognition : +1 617 965-5200
 320 Nevada St., Newton, MA 02160, USA : http://www.dragonsys.com/
Mail to author|Respond to list|Read more issues|LINGUIST home page|Top of issue

Message 2: RE: 7.1258, Sum: "Sitting on the fence"

Date: Wed, 11 Sep 1996 19:12:34 BST
From: Lou Burnard <louvax.ox.ac.uk>
Subject: RE: 7.1258, Sum: "Sitting on the fence"
I missed the earlier question about sitting on the fence... for the
record, there are about 30 instances of sitting on the fence in the
British National Corpus, of which just a few (about six) are literal
fences being sat on, and the rest are all synonymous with vacillation,
and have a generally negative aura. If anyone's interested, I can post
a full list, but not till next week!

Lou
Mail to author|Respond to list|Read more issues|LINGUIST home page|Top of issue