In his book Was Wir Wissen1 ("what we know"), German author Benjamin von Stuckrad-Barre tried to find the everyday life contexts in which proverbs are used – and he used Google to do so. For example, he searched for "Those who live in glass houses should not throw stones" and then listed who was being referred to on the resulting web pages (like discussion boards, or news articles). Let's follow the same approach for English proverbs here!

Who shouldn't throw stones in a glass house?

  • The plywood industries of Malaysia and Indonesia

  • People who say Michael is guilty

  • Those who tell on people who don't follow a site's Terms of Service

  • Russia

  • People who call Greeks liars

What conquers all?

  • Love

  • Labor and perseverance

  • Courage

  • Truth

  • Humor

  • Linux

What can't a man live by alone?

  • Bread

  • Rice

  • Incompetence

  • Crimefighting

  • Chocolate

  • Bagels

  • Jaffa Cakes

What's not everything?

  • Money

  • Winning the prize, or the tournament

  • Wikipedia

  • Salad

  • Ecology

  • Speed

  • Base salary

  • Technological superiority

What best things in life are free?

  • Sun Java Studio Enterprise 8.0

  • Computers

  • The Chicago Cultural Center's top-notch music programming

  • Online Black Jack

  • Business opportunities

  • A smile

  • Seattle

Who let the dogs out?

  • 49ers

  • Karl, Bob, and Paulie

  • Rumsfeld

  • FOX

  • Karl Rove

  • Nintendo

What is the new black?

  • Lurid pink

  • Keylogging

  • Green Teat

  • Fluffy

  • Gray, or fuchsia, or red

  • Caucasian

  • UNPOP

  • Benjamin

  • Simplicity

  • BeOSmodule

  • Scrolling

  • Blacker

  • Polygamy

  • Apathy

  • Pacifism

  • Downshifting

What shouldn't you throw out with the bathwater?

  • Musicians

  • The crown

  • The pervert

  • The BabyCenter.com

  • The leak

  • The monitor

  • The culture

  • The dressed up chihuahua

  • The concept of rural

  • The artistic effort

  • The Furbies

  • The appraisal

  • God

  • SOAP

  • Pearls

  • The fluoride

End Notes

1. Stuckrad-Barre, B.v. (2005). Was Wir Wissen.(www.55fun.com/5)