Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Got Milk?

Today I read what I found to be a very odd phrase in a news article. And like a bad song, this phrase has been stuck in my mind all day. In an article about surviving a bad storm, a person was quoted as follows: "By morning, feeling somewhat mellow and filled with the milk of human kindness..."

"The milk of human kindness." The milk of human kindness? What the hell is that? To me it sounds like something Bill Clinton spilled on Monica Lewinsky's dress. So I asked myself, "Do I really even want to know what the milk of human kindness is?"

Curiosity eventually got the better of me and I googled it. According to The Phrase Finder, its origins are from Shakespeare's Macbeth and it means "care and compassion for others." Shakespeare's always been a little over my head (or rather a lot over my boredom threshold), so I'm not surprised I've never heard it.

But I wonder, why is this phrase still around some 384 years later? What's so special about it? Sounds like nincompoopery to me! But then I pondered... maybe Shakespeare was part of an early "Got Milk?" ad campaign. Dairy was big in the 1600's, and he was a celebrity at the time. He would have been the perfect spokesperson!
I think I'm on to something here...

4 comments:

Carrie M said...

"To me it sounds like something Bill Clinton spilled on Monica Lewinsky's dress."

HAHAHAHAA! i'm with you, girl. that's what it sounds like to me, although i'm not so sure it's always kindness...

TOTS said...

One time there was an article in the Buffalo News in which I was quoted as saying Buffalo was the "land of milk and honey." WHO WOULD USE THAT PHRASE? CERTAINLY NOT ME! I now have lots of sympathy for people who think they were misquoted in the paper. That reporter just MADE THAT UP.

Dan said...

Very funny post Christina!

What I find most funny is that folks think drinking human milk is so disgusting and yet drinking cow's milk isn't! How weird is that? :)

Reigning Frog said...

carrie m: ha ha ha for your comment too!

tots: that's hysterical! I have bath products with milk and honey and none of them are made here in Buffalo

Blah Blah Dan: Thanks! Good point. Goat milk is weirder though.