Maxims and Proverbs

Classic style presents the author’s individual insights and perceptions, so classic style rarely employs the clichéd common wisdom found in proverbs and maxims. The classic writer may, however, re-write a cliché or a maxim in a way that produces new insights.

Here are some examples:

cliché: “pure and simple truth”

Oscar Wilde: “The truth is rarely pure and never simple.”

maxim: “Seeing is believing.”

Mark Twain: “Believe nothing that you hear, and only half of what you see.”
Ralph Hodgson: “Some things have to be believed to be seen.”

Choose at least four of the following maxims and rewrite them as classic style insights.

One man’s meat is another man’s poison. Hope for the best, but plan for the worst.
Let sleeping dogs lie. Better safe than sorry.
Time heals all wounds. Silence is golden.
War is hell. Love is blind.
Sometimes, you can’t see the forrest for the trees. Look before you leap.
God helps them who help themselves. Haste makes waste.

Maxims and Proverbs .pdf

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Page Last Updated: 14 May 2011