Children

Read between the words

Have you heard of this one? ‘A stitch in time saves nine.’

It’s an idiom — something that means a little more than what the words actually say.

For example, there’s an idiom that goes, ‘the grass is greener on the other side of the fence.’ All it means is that we think that other people have a better life than we do. But, in reality, they may be having problems just like you and me.

In real life, when you stand at one end of a lawn that’s not been well maintained, it would look like the grass at the other end is greener and fresher. But if you actually go to the other end, the grass would be just the same as it was where you had stood. Probably that’s how this idiom originated.

Don’t put things off

Let’s get back to ‘A stitch in time saves nine.’

When a shirt or any article of clothing gets torn, you mend it by stitching it. If you stitch it immediately, the gash will not get bigger. The cloth would look good. But if you neglect to stitch it, the tear would get much bigger and then you would have to make nine (or many more) stitches to make the cloth okay.

So what this idiom means is that we have to tackle problems as soon as they appear and not let them grow. It will be easy to handle them now, but very difficult later. If you don’t understand the basics of a subject, make every effort to understand it as soon as possible. Get your parents’/friends’/teachers’/Google’s help and get it cleared up. But, if you keep learning without understanding the basics, you will face a lot of problems later. So, nip the problem in the bud! There, that’s another idiom.

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Printable version | Sep 27, 2020 4:28:07 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/children/read-between-the-words/article32282879.ece

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