10/16/09

Wise Women Friday: Jane Asten

1869 engraving showing an idealized, young :en...Image via Wikipedia

Words of wisdom from English writer Jane Austen (1775-1817):

The less said the better.

Trust me: this is very good advice. I have spent a lifetime forgetting it, and a lifetime regretting it.
I've always admired people who can hold their tongues. Sometimes, in a flash of their eyes, you can even see their minds spinning as they puzzle out the most appropriate responses to questions or ideas. They actually think before they speak, and when they do speak, they somehow know when to stop.

Me? I'm like a Santa Ana wind. I blow long, I blow hot, and I leave strewn palm fronds in my wake. Or, as my husband once told me, "You have no tact."

It's a horrible thing to have no tact. You can never really tell the difference between what's frank, what's better left unsaid, and what's simply too much information. Even when you can tell the difference, verbal gas escapes from your mouth wand you end up stinking up the room.

Sigh.

Did I just say verbal gas? See? I'm pretty sure that was better left unsaid.

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18 comments:

Cafe Pasadena said...

I sometimes lose my tact, more or less.

Cafe Pasadena said...

BLT OR BTW (one of those), I ALWAYS thought it was Austen.

Olga said...

Tact can be SO over rated. Personally, I'm glad you are funny instead of tactful.

Rois said...

I agree with Olga. I get myself in spots because I say it like it is,no pussy footing around or beating the bush.
Oh well life would be dull without outspoken women.
Rois

Petrea said...

Are you kidding me? Verbal gas is a gem. I'm going to quote you.

BLT, Cafe's very tactful in his out-pointing.

Linda Dove said...

My husband has uttered those very words to me. I would have never taken you for gassy. So to speak.

... daisy... said...

This is a virtue I don't have: holding my tongue! Sometimes very rarely I do... for my own peace, but really seldom.
By the way I've read all Austen's novels. Amazing woman!!!

Jean Spitzer said...

Thanks for the chuckle.

Shell Sherree said...

Worth it for 'verbal gas', let alone the rest of the chuckles! I try to be tactful but my intention is sometimes better than my execution. I have a natural handicap, though, being a Sagittarian. Apparently we spend much of our lives pulling our feet back out of our mouths. {If you ask me, that's a very tactless thing to say about us...}

Joanne said...

Now really, what would this post have been without its verbal gas ;)

TheChieftess said...

RIGHT ON!!! Thank you so much for writing about me...but how do you know me so well???? We've only barely met on this here internet!!! Oh...you were writing about yourself...verbally gaseous of me!!!

Shell Sherree...as a fellow Sagitarian...I can totally relate to the taste of foot-in-mouth!!!

altadenahiker said...

Sorry to prick your gas balloon, but you are funny and tactful -- an almost impossible combination.

Margaret said...

Pup: Ah, man. I spelled her name wrong. Shame on me.

Olga: Maybe a little tact would be good though. I think my family thinks so.

Rois: At least we're not dull. You're right there.

Petrea: Yes, Pup does not have my problem. He handled that typo very well.

Linda: It's hard to believe you're tactless. It seems to un-poet like.

Daisy: I bet you read all of Austen in English, too? Didn't you? You are amazing. :)

Jean: My pleasure.

Shell: I didn't know that was a problem for Sagittarians. How about Pisces? I'm a Pisces. What's my excuse:

Chieftess: Right on! I guess this is something a lot of us relate to. Thanks for the visit.

Joanne: Ummm. Nonexistent?

AH: Ah, shucks. But I know I'm tactless. It's a cross I must bear.

... daisy... said...

Thank you! :-) you're too kind though... :-)
Of course I did! It wouldn't be the same in Italian! :-)

kanmuri said...

I m like you. I envy people who can hold their tongue!

Unseen Rajasthan said...

Beautiful post @!!

Margaret said...

Daisy: I knew it. That's a very impressive feat, but your English is fantastic.

Kanmuri: I really do envy them. It implies a sort of patience that I just don't possess.

UR: Thanks.

... daisy... said...

:-) thank you... this is such a precious compliment coming from someone like you. Such an amazing writer like you! Really. It makes me really proud and happy!