Talk:a rolling stone gathers no moss

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2 contradicting senses[edit]

The two definitions seem to contradict each other. Moreover, how can a person "grow mouldy"? ---> Tooironic 00:39, 22 March 2010 (UTC)

Carl, you can use (+) to start a new discussion, that way it will generate a discussion name. The first definition is positive, the second is negative. --Anatoli 03:45, 22 March 2010 (UTC)
I don't understand your interpretation. The first one is OK but the second one makes no sense. ---> Tooironic 23:02, 26 September 2010 (UTC)
The two sentences provide two alternate opposing statements that can both be inferred from this proverb. As for growing mouldy, I presume someone's mistaken a person for a bit of KFC. It should be changed, since "growing mouldy" implies the spawning of fungi. Perhaps "A person who does not remain active shall wither"? "A person who does not remain active shall find themselves burdened with problems"? KooKas 21:40, 4 June 2011 (UTC)
Your latter definition makes more sense, since a person can't really "wither" either (unless they happen to be a corpse). ---> Tooironic 00:44, 6 June 2011 (UTC)

Two opposite meanings??[edit]

The original meaning was negative. That to fail to put down roots and to wander about would be a bad thing, that you would not gather much moss (Not too sure how even a rock's gathering of moss could be good, let alone a person... Maybe gathering wealth and respect..) So its a bad thing to be a rolling stone.

The new definition, which seems to be the opposite of the original use, implies that if you keep on moving you will not gather moss (grow mold). So its a good thing to be a rolling stone.

Its amazing how language evolves. Even if the definition is well documented and a lot of people use a term in the wrong way the term will eventually get another definition based on usage. In this case, it now has two opposite meanings! Is it possible to be a little more confusing?? (Quick poll around me says that no one is really sure if being a rolling stone is a good thing or a bad thing.)

Contextual clues are not always enough to figure out if the use is intended to be complimentary or derogatory. I think the wrong definition should be stricken. Who cares if everyone thinks that 2+2=5? Just because people don't know does not mean that you add it to the math books. A word or phrase should not have two opposing definitions.

132.241.241.48 00:19, 5 January 2012 (UTC)jaird

Language is not as clear cut as mathematics; many words are their own antonyms! See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Auto-antonym I personally have always taken being a rolling stone and avoiding moss as a good thing.