Talk:give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime

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Original source[edit]

I think I remember reading that this idiom originally came from a Chinese saying, can anyone verify this? Tooironic 11:44, 30 July 2009 (UTC)

  • It has been attributed to en:Lao Tzu (Laozi) founder of Taoism, but that does not seem to be correct. This site claims it is by en:Maimonides, a Medieval Jewish philosopher. It would be nice if experts in those authors could confirm (with pointer to the original text) or deny. --Jorge Stolfi (talk) 17:35, 27 October 2014 (UTC)
This is one of those sayings that gets attributed to anyone who seems wise and exotic, because no one knows where it came from and people want to attribute it to someone. A similar case is better to light a single candle than to curse the darkness. You can also find a good number of unsourceable quotes attributed to authors such as w:Benjamin Franklin and w:Mark Twain for similar reasons. Chuck Entz (talk) 02:34, 28 October 2014 (UTC)

Request for deletion[edit]

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Originally added by one of the incarnations of Wonderfool. I'm of two minds about his one. On the one hand, yes it is a valid proverb. On the other hand, it's so damn long that it just doesn't seem to belong in a dictionary, and it must have somewhere between umpteen and a gazillion alternative forms which will make it relatively unlikely that any given user will manage to type a form that matches the entry or any redirects we create. Delete or keep? What's the right thing to do? -- WikiPedant 00:31, 20 January 2010 (UTC)

I would say keep, because it's a legitimate proverb; but the lack of capitalisation causes me physical pain. Can this be the only multi-sentence entry title we have?! Equinox 00:48, 20 January 2010 (UTC)
We should have a separate page for all matters relating to overlong headwords. They mess up the TOC something awful. So whatever we do, let's do it quick.
Keep It's a more certainly a valid proverb than some. The search engine might find it for someone. DCDuring TALK 00:57, 20 January 2010 (UTC)
Equinox, might a semicolon ease your pain?​—msh210 19:36, 20 January 2010 (UTC)
Keep per Equinox and DCDuring. Mglovesfun (talk) 04:23, 25 January 2010 (UTC)

Kept. Mglovesfun (talk) 12:18, 31 January 2010 (UTC)

RFM discussion: January 2014[edit]

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give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime[edit]

It's odd to start the first part off with a lowercase letter, but then divide the first part from the second part with a full stop and start the second part off with a capital letter (and still not end it with a full stop of its own). I suggest the page be moved to give a man a fish and you feed him for a day, teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime, although Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime(.) would also make sense. (Also, the whole thing could be shortened if anyone wants, e.g. by replacing both "and you"s with commas.) - -sche (discuss) 08:57, 8 January 2014 (UTC)

Suggested variations you could try:

TeleComNasSprVen (talk) 10:34, 8 January 2014 (UTC)

  • I prefer the version that starts with a lower-case letter, separates the clauses with a semicolon, and does not end with a period. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 10:58, 8 January 2014 (UTC)
Moved to give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime. - -sche (discuss) 18:24, 11 January 2014 (UTC)
Per this note on the given talkpage, should we just create redirects for the rest of these alternative forms? TeleComNasSprVen (talk) 00:23, 12 January 2014 (UTC)
I don't think it would be useful to create redirects for all the punctuation variants, in that anyone who starts typing one of them into the search bar will already see the lemmatized form brought up, and anyone using our own site's search or Google to search for a punctuation variant will likewise find the lemma because both search engines recognize punctuation differences as trivial. Also, several of the wordings you offer above are not attested, e.g. "give man fish and you feed him for a day". But if you want to create redirects for all the punctuation variants of the wordings that are attested, well, I don't think it'd be useful, but I don't think it'd be harmful, either, so knock yourself out. - -sche (discuss) 05:47, 14 January 2014 (UTC)