I’ve always thought this was a phrase created by Shakespeare, but it appears not so. I went to the source of all knowledge in modern times, Goggle, and I find the following;
The earliest recorded use of this phrase appears to be by John Lydgate in his Debate between the horse, goose, and sheep, circa 1440:
“Odyous of olde been comparisonis, And of comparisonis engendyrd is haterede.”
It was used by several authors later, notably Cervantes, Christopher Marlowe and John Donne.
In Much Ado About Nothing, Shakespeare gave Dogberry the line ‘comparisons are odorous’. It seems that he was using this ironically, knowing it to be a misuse of what would have been a well known phrase by 1599 when the play was written
Well it shows that every day there’s something new that you can learn.
When our two (2) daughters were at school I used ask most every day, “ … what did you learn today”. Despite sending the girls to what we felt was a good school, the answer every day was the same “… nothing much’’. Needless to say, I eventually came to accept this was probably one of their core subjects, and perhaps I just did not understand the school curriculum.
So that brings me back to ‘’comparisons are odious’’
Over the past few weeks I’ve wondered about the way I was feeling and thinking during my cycling trip, and how I seemed to have a very different and somewhat hollow feeling. This puzzled me immensely, and I see it clearly in the difference between my travel notes [blog] in 2010 and this current blog. I wanted to understand why I’m feeling so different, and so I went back to re-read my Europe 2010 [Planet Ranger] blog – this is the link – http://www.planetranger.com/johnwilliams/index.shtml
The difference has nothing to do with the actual trip, the people, what I did or what I saw, it is totally and selfishly about how I’m thinking and feeling. It’s not about being tired, or rested, it’s not about which museums and art galleries I’ve visited, it’s not about my sense of achievement in mastering the Paris metro … it’s unashamedly all about me.
The words of the Moving Pictures 1980’s song are poignant.
“What About Me”
Well there’s a little boy waiting at the counter of a corner shop
He’s been waiting down there, waiting half the day
They never ever see him from the top
He gets pushed around, knocked to the ground
He gets to his feet and he says
What about me, it isn’t fair
I’ve had enough now I want my share
Can’t you see I wanna live
But you just take more than you give
Well there’s a pretty girl serving at the counter of the corner shop
She’s been waiting back there, waiting for her dreams
Her dreams walk in and out they never stop
Well she’s not too proud to cry out loud
She runs to the street and she screams
So take a step back and see the little people
They may be young but they’re the ones
That make the big people big
So listen, as they whisper
What about me
And now I’m standing on the corner all the world’s gone home
Nobody’s changed, nobody’s been saved
And I’m feeling cold and alone
I guess I’m lucky, I smile a lot
But sometimes I wish for more than I’ve got
So what do I do about it … something [more] to think about.