Sunday, 6 February 2011

Overthinking a Phrase

There's a phrase that often occurs to me. Although I like to twist it around. Why? Because that's the kind of person I am.

"Naked as the day you were born."

However, there are two problems with that.

One, it presumes I was around when you were born. Considering I'm under the median population age, that's a heck of an assumption.

Two, it presumes I was naked on the day you were born (yeah, I know, there's an image). But when you think of all the times I've had a shower/bath, there's a good chance that sometime, during the day on which you were born, I did meet the criteria. (Certainly the few days in which, for some reason or another, I wasn't, is a low enough probability I an ignore it.)

That all said, does that really get to the heart of the matter? Is being nude for merely, say, seconds, enough time to satisfy the requirement of the phrase? The problem here, however, is the other part of the phrase.

Consider the day one is born. Come out, get slapped, and then... wrapped up in a blanket and handed to the mother. (There are cases where this doesn't happen, but for the majority of people...) Thus, while the intention of the phrase "as naked as you were on the day you were born", on that day you weren't that naked either. Or rather, you spent more of the day not-naked than naked. (One could ask "is being wrapped in blanket enough to be not-naked?" A lot of babies are now wearing garments the parents bring in pretty quickly too. That aside, you're naked under your clothes, so the real question is about what constitute clothing, but I'm not addressing that.)

Given all that "you are as naked now as you were during one point right after your birth" doesn't really have that ring to it. And consider the extreme, there are nudists colonies out there in which people are more naked during the day than they were during their day of birth.

I'm not claiming that this phrase will be overturned or updated or anything. Just that it doesn't mean as much as most people will believe at first blush. [And I'll leave overthinking that phrase to some other time...]


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