Aphorisms Unplugged: Pull yourself up by your bootstraps.

We may not be sure what bootstraps actually are, but we know we’re supposed to stop whining, and pull ourselves up by them. These days, pulling yourself up by your bootstraps means to succeed on your own, through sheer will and hard work.

Aphorisms Unplugged: Go the Extra Mile.

These days, “go the extra mile” means making a special effort to achieve a particular goal. Or it’s dished out as advice to do more than is required, in order to impress our boss. In its original context, however, “going the extra mile” is much more than simply a way to get ahead in a competitive world.

Aphorisms Unplugged: Blood is Thicker Than Water

Your mom might have used this saying to explain why you have to take your little brother when you go to the movies with your buddies. You know, family relationships are more important than your friends. Well, you can tell your mom that this 3,000 year-old adage doesn't mean that at all... if you're brave enough.

Aphorisms Unplugged: My Country Right or Wrong

This saying is frequently invoked as a testament of vigilant and aggressive patriotism. It was especially prevalent during the volatile years surrounding the Vietnam war, asserted in response to the arguments of those protesting that war. But, if the expression wasn’t intended to promote an all-or-nothing variety of patriotism, what does “my country right or wrong” mean?

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