Old saws sound the sweetest

17th January 2003 at 00:00
THERE is nothing new under the sun, as this tale from yesteryear will prove.

A well-known, nay legendary, director of education was addressing the young hopefuls at a corporate senior management event. Fortified by several glasses of fine wines and spirits, they decided to place bets on the number of cliches the great man could fit in.

As the orator sat down, both the chap from law and admin and the assistant education director had correctly predicted the insertion of the telling phrases.

The crafty legal eagle then rose to his feet, with some difficulty, and asked this cunning supplementary: "In your long and distinguished career, would you say that certain initiatives have come into fashion again?"

"Exactly!" proclaimed the director, always willing to talk into extra time. "You see, plus ca change . . ."

The assembled throng burst into fits of laughter, as the lawyer shouted "Bingo!" He proudly pointed to his straight line: the Medes and the Persians. Bone of the bone. Sine qua non. Lad o pairts. Plus ca change.

"Do you get anything for four corners?" enquired a crestfallen colleague. "No!" said another. "I only needed tablets of stone for a full house."

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