At our Thanksgiving table I overheard a conversation about politics. People were comparing presidential candidates. Someone said, “They’re all so different! It’s like comparing apples and oranges.”
I’ve heard that apples and oranges reference my whole life and I just don’t get it. When I was small it was right up there with: Six of one, half dozen of another, which I didn’t understand as a kid but now makes perfect sense. Another strange one was: If wishes were horses, beggars would ride. Growing up I never saw a horse or a beggar in our neighborhood. But why has the comparison of apples and oranges become such a common term to signify two dissimilar things?
In fact, apples and oranges have quite a few similarities. Both are round. They’re both vitamin-supplying fruits, both smell wonderful, both have peels and seeds, both are pressed for highly-valued juices. It seems to me that apples and oranges are more similar than not.
Why don’t we change this cryptic saying to show real differences, such as: It’s like comparing apples and anvils, or oranges and bazookas? (I think I saw an A-Team episode where they fired apples from a bazooka.)
Who invents these crazy sayings? When is it my turn?
Did you stumble over any of these old sayings while growing up? If you’re not three sheets to the wind from Thanksgiving celebrations, share them….