Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Curiosity Killed the Cat

It's a phrase we've all heard, and more than likely used on several occasions. But until recently (recent as in literally thirty seconds ago), I never thought about the fact that it could very well be an ambiguous sentence. My first and only thought when I've heard this phrase has been that the cat was curious about something, and whatever it was that was the source of his curiosity got him into trouble. Reading that sentence over again, I don't think it made much sense, but you understand, right? It's the meaning people associate with the saying, that when curious about something, people should learn to let it go or they could get into trouble. Or, as the very reliable website I looked up that contains meanings and origins of a plethera of sayings says, "Inquisitiveness can lead one into dangerous situations."

But couldn't it mean the opposite as well?

Couldn't this common phrase that's thrown out so often, "curiosity killed the cat", imply that the poor cat was curious about something, but decided not to pursue it? And because of this, he was forevermore left unsatisfied with his lack of knowledge, and this curiosity plagued him until it eventually drove him to his death. This makes sense as well, no?

I think it makes much more sense than the original meaning behind the phrase. After all, it does say that curiosity killed the cat, not the learning of what it was he wanted to know.

Just a thought.

1 comment:

Chrys said...

interesting... I've never thought of it like that before!