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Altogether this handbook presents ample proof that the ubiquitous proverbs always have been and most certainly continue to be part of oral and written communication.They serve the human inclination to summarize observations and experiences into generalized nuggets of wisdom that in turn can be employed as ready-made comments on everyday relationships and sociopolitical affairs of various types.Proverbial expressions and trite sayings are the flowers of the rhetoric of a vulgar man.
Folk proverbs as well as Bible proverbs appear as expressions of wisdom and common sense, adding authority and didacticism to the multifaceted aspects of sociopolitical discourse.
As somewhat of an intellectual snob he had no use for proverbs as he stressed the importance of proper social behavior in a letter of 25 July 1741, to his son: There is an awkwardness of expression and words, most carefully to be avoided: such as false English, bad pronunciation, old sayings, and common proverbs; which are so many proofs of having kept bad or low company.
For example, if, instead of saying that tastes are different, and that every man has his own peculiar one, you should let off a proverb, and say, That what is one man’s meat is another man’s poison; or else, Everyone as they like, as the good man said when he kissed his cow, everybody would be persuaded that you had never kept company with anybody above footmen and housemaids.
Fredrick Douglass, Abraham Lincoln, Elisabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B.
Anthony stand out in their use of proverbs for civil and women’s rights during the nineteenth century.