Speech is silver, silence is golden
Posted by ESC on June 11, 2003
In Reply to: "Silence is golden." posted by EE on June 11, 2003
: Am I right that there is more to this expression with something like "Speech is silver but silence is golden." or something like that?
SPEECH IS SILVER, SILENCE IS GOLDEN - "The value placed upon saying less, rather than more, as reflected in this proverb can be traced as far back as the early Egyptians, who recorded one such saying: 'Silence is more profitable than abundance of speech.' The current proverb was rendered for the first time in the Judaic Biblical commentaries called the 'Midrash' (c. 600), which gave the proverb as 'If speech is silvern, then silence is golden.' The poet Thomas Carlyle quoted this version in German in 'Sartor Resartus' , and soon after, the American poet James Russell Lowell quoted the exact wording of the modern version in the 'The Bigelow Papers' . Perhaps more familiar in the shortened version 'Silence is golden,' the saying has been quoted in print frequently during the twentieth century. One witty adaptation in Brian Aldiss's 'The Primal Urge' seems particularly appropriate to modern times: "Speech is silver; silence is golden; print is dynamite.'." From "Wise Words and Wives' Tales: The Origins, Meanings and Time-Honored Wisdom of Proverbs and Folk Sayings Olde and New" by Stuart Flexner and Doris Flexner (Avon Books, New York, 1993).
From William Shakespeare, "Romeo and Juliet": "How silver-sweet sound lovers' tongues by night, Like softest music to attending ears!"
...Moving to America, for many, has been a reason for opportunity and prosperity. Through persistence, hard work and struggles, they pursue to find success in achieving the ‘American Dream’. One of the major struggles is maintaining one’s traditional values and their individuality while assimilating and not forgetting who he or she really is. The narrator, Jayanti, in “Silver Pavements, Golden Roofs”, by Chitra Divakaruni, illustrates a good example of how a person loses their individuality and self-identity to do whatever it takes to assimilate and fit into the society. From the beginning of the story, Jayanti shows signs of assimilation and acceptance, to become an American. Before reaching America, she promises to give herself a typical American look as she mentions, “As soon as I get to Chicago, I promise myself, I will have it cut and styled” (70). She later states, “I lick them, wanting to capture that taste, make it part of me forever” convincing the readers she has already started taking in the new environment around her (70). When Jayanti arrives in America and meets her Uncle and Aunt, she feels ashamed to practice her traditional customs openly in the public. As she says, “I touch their feet like a good Indian girl should, though I am somewhat embarrassed. Everyone in the airport is watching us” (72). This is where we see how assimilation begins to contribute to the loss of her customs and who she is. One of the main reason Jayanti...