Thursday, August 06, 2009

"hung for a sheep as well as a lamb"

"I might as well be hanged for a sheep as well as a lamb."

It is simply amazing what you can learn (or re-learn if you are an older student) as you research something on the Internet. Let's take the very famous and often used quote above. A quick search of
quotations attributed the quote to Edward Koch (1901-1995) the award winning American Screenwriter. However, Koch only borrowed the phrase.

The Oxford English Dictionary has a quotation from Richardson, "Clarissa" (1748): "In for the lamb, as the saying is, in for the sheep." But, in fact, this quote is probably much older than that.

The origination of the quote stems from old English common law that demanded that thieves of livestock be either executed or deported from England. The law did not differentiate in the age, size or condition of the animal. This law remained in effect until 1800. Therefore, if you were going to be executed anyway, you might as well steal a meaty sheep, with ample wool, as a newborn lamb with little value.

Further and deeper investigation also corrected the grammar from the title phrase I've used today. It turns out it shouldn't by hung, but hanged. I need to thank the website
Grammar Girl for this information. For those of us who prefer simple grammar rules to remember, curtains and hung, people are hanged. The link above will explain why this usage is more correct.

Hold on.... we're getting closer to the actual point of this essay.

Yesterday I was forcefully rebuked in the comments section of another blog. Neither the blog name nor the attacker's name matter, especially since I greatly respect them both. The point is that a reply I thought was a humorous jest offended someone who thought I was being a sanctimonious *%!+*/!^#. He was probably right. But I'm no stranger to being attacked or insulted in the blogosphere. I don't get angry and I certainly don't get upset.

Here's where it gets interesting. The fine gentleman who fired the hostile replies at me undoubtedly wanted to hurl the greatest possible insult he could muster. He did use the usual suspects of language and deviate sexual innuendo, but with an unexpected twist. His accusation was that I was unusually devoted to Michelle Malkin.

His insult was, in effect, that I like and respect and quote and recommend
Michelle Malkin regularly. Now he didn't actually use any words so polite or kind as "like" or 'respect" or "quote" or "recommend" but you get the drift of his attack.

So, finally, we get to the point of this essay AND the title of this post! While I will object to his deviate sexual undertones, I freely admit that I am absolutely guilty of respecting Michelle Malkin! There, you have it! I'm out of the closet.

I do like and respect and recommend Michelle Malkin. I read her blog daily and have corresponded with her on a few rare occasions. She has always been helpful, honest, respectful and courteous. This, in spite of the fact we often disagree greatly on the most important issues of the day.

So, like the livestock thieves in old England, I'd rather be hanged for a sheep as a lamb. I congratulate Michelle on an absolutely amazing feat. Her brand new book,
Culture of Corruption, is NUMBER ONE on the New York Times Bestseller List in its first week of publication. Considering that her book has not been reviewed (favorably of unfavorably) by a single national newspaper, this is simply an amazing grass roots success! Here is Michelle's own blog post about her success: Culture of Corruption hits #1: Thank you!

While I'm not quoting Michelle today, I will pick up a quote she reprinted on her blog. The quote is from
Human Events:

Michelle Malkin’s brand new book, Culture of Corruption, will debut at #1 on the NYT Bestseller List on Sunday, August 16. Sources at Regnery Publishing (sister company of Human Events) confirm the book’s #1 ranking, and further confirm that the book, which just launched on July 29, is now in its 4th printing, with more than 300,000 copies.

"I might as well be hanged for a sheep as well as a lamb."


shoo said...

I'd rather be caught with Michelle Malkin than with a sheep.

Vigilante said...

I'm thinking this sounds like it's coming from someone who's already had the experience of having been caught with a sheep.

Vigilante said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
shoo said...

You know Vigilante, we all learned to hurl insults in grade school. Most of us have matured since then.

Debate the facts and the policies: insults add nothing to the debate.

the WIZARD, fkap said...

Ahhhh, Shoo, This is the blogosphere. Hyperbole has gotten so pervasive that you can harldly make a point without repeating the "F" word seventy or eighty times.

And, quite frankly, Vigilante is one of the really, really good guys. He virtually always deals in issues and facts and logically generated conclusions.

(Yes, he does have self admitted BDS, but his acknowledgement of BDS allows him to make better observations)

Besides that, I know he meant the comment in good fun (unlike the barrage I had hurled at me over at the unnamed blog by the unnamed commentator. His similarly themed comments were meant in total seriousness).

the WIZARD, fkap said...

Besides that, Shoo, after re-reading my entry, I'm not sure I presented any arguable facts.

Although anyone who dares to praise Malkin can ignite a firestorm.

Lee said...

Malkin has really been a breath of fresh air, particularly juxtaposed to Coulter who's tactics are too much like those liberal talking heads.

There is a video of her on the View and she handles herself masterfully.

There is a reason her book is number one, just read it. Then see if you can find Peolosi's in some bargin bin.

Lee said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lee said...

I'm sure if someone did hook up with a sheep the results would be Vigilante (In good jest)

Vigilante said...

Of course you know, Shoo, nothing personal was intended. I just had to jump on that opening before Mad Mike got to it. Couldn't let it just sit there....

MadMike said...

LOL! Well, it goes without saying that Michelle Malkin is not on my list of favorite persons in the world, but I really did like the sheep analogy:-)

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