As Easy as Shooting Fish in a Barrel

shooting fish in a barrel

This idiom has always confused me. I’m no expert with a gun—I’ve only shot one once at my then-boyfriend’s house down in Texas—but it doesn’t seem like shooting fish in a barrel would be the easiest thing.

First of all, we usually catch fish, not shoot them. It seems to me that is for a reason. Maybe it’s because fish move around so much and so constantly. Maybe it’s because water can mess with your depth perception, which is important when trying to be an accurate shooter. Maybe it’s something else entirely, I’m not sure!

Also, if you’re shooting fish in a barrel, that barrel is going to have holes in it. That will allow the water to drain from those holes, which will mess with your water-to-fish ratio. I suppose that would make it easier though, because as the water drains the fish have less space to swim away to.

After a while you’d be shooting fish in an empty barrel, which would be way easier. And after even more time, you’d essentially be shooting dead fish that were lying at the bottom of that empty barrel.

So I guess this idiom makes some sense. Either way you’re going to end up with a bunch of dead fish—goal achieved!

Sleep Like A Baby

sleep like a baby

The idiomatic expression “to sleep like a baby” is one that I didn’t used to question. But after further examination, I realized that this idiom doesn’t make any sense at all.

After a long day of hard work, people often say, “Man, I’m going to sleep like a baby tonight.” If that’s true, they are going to be pretty unhappy come the morning.

Babies are known to wake up for middle-of-the-night feedings and diaper changes. They’re also known for waking up in tears, which is a problem I doubt most idiom-users encounter.

Babies are not the deepest of sleepers. They’re quite light sleepers, in fact—just think of how quiet everyone in a house needs to be after a baby is put to bed.

So, unless you want to be fussy and tired the next day, you probably don’t want to sleep like a baby.

Great Minds Think Alike

Great Minds Think Alike

It’s often said that great minds think alike—but can that really be the truth?

There are a few qualities that are used to define a mind as “great”. The mind must have the ability to:

1. Comprehend things that are, to lesser minds, inconceivable.

2. Imagine things that no other mind can fathom.

3. Conquer some sort of existing problem by means of critical

thinking and analysis.

All in all, the thing that makes a mind truly great is its ability to be unique and unlike anything we’ve ever encountered. To be “unique” is to be “one of a kind”, so how can we say that two unique minds are the same?

The word great means considerably above the normal or average, distinguished.

Being distinguished is being successful, authoritative, something that commands respect, outstanding.

Outstanding is exceptionally good, clearly noticeable, notable.

Unsurprisingly, notable means worthy of attention of notice, remarkable, noteworthy.

To be noteworthy is to be interesting or unusual.

Unusual is defined as uncommon, rare, something remarkable or interesting because it’s different from or better than others.

As it turns out, the very thing that makes a mind “great” is what sets it apart from all other minds and keeps it from thinking similarly to others. No two un-great minds think alike, so how can we justify the idea of two great minds— minds that change our world and shape our youth—thinking alike?

Don’t Judge A Book By Its Cover

don't judge a book by its cover

People always say, “Don’t judge a book by its cover,” but isn’t that exactly what we should do? Imagine you’re in your local bookstore, perusing the aisles for a quality read. You aren’t sure exactly what you’re looking for, but there are hundreds—even thousands—of books in front of you, each one eager to share its story with you.

Do you really have so much extra time on your hands that you’re able to read a few pages from all of the books on the shelf before making your decision? Is there nothing better you could be doing? Like perhaps reading one of those books or heading over to the café section of the bookstore, maybe chatting with the cute barista you noticed when you first walked in?

Since you probably have better things to do than read the summaries of hundreds of books, you might want to save yourself a little time and judge the books by their covers.