Tag Archive: history


When reading about the elections which are taking place in the US soon, I came across an anecdote about the previous US president, George Washington.

The story goes like this:
When the young Washington was 6, he was given a hatchet as a gift, and he was so enthusiastic that he would chop down whatever he wanted with the hatchet. One day, he chopped down his dad’s cherry tree. When asked by his father, he thought ‘I cannot tell lies’, so he admitted it. His father did not punish him, and instead, praised him for his honesty.

However, I had some queries about this anecdote:
1) Why would he receive a hatchet as a gift when he was 6? Isn’t he too young for having such a dangerous tool?
2) Why would he chop down his father’s favourite cherry tree when he knows it belongs to his dad? ‘Ha Ha! I know this is dad’s favourite cherry tree! So I have to cut it down!’ is that what he thought? He could have easily chopped down any trees when he goes outside.

Do you not think this anecdote is slightly too strange? And it is probably not true? Share your thoughts! ūüėÄ

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Having studied English literature for two and a half semesters, I genuinely think that the creative pick-up lines nowadays can really be categorized as ‘literature’.

Literature comes from human life, just as Wordsworth claimed, poetry should come from rural life. John Keats had a humble life, and became a great writer. What does it tell us? Literature originates from human life, as writers get inspired from what they see in human life.

Pick up lines, or chat up lines,¬†are as Wordsworth mentioned, human language, as they are actually uttered by normal people. One of my favourite writer, John Keats, also included a pick-up-line-like line in his letter to Fanny Browne, saying ‘I almost wish we were butterflies and liv’d but three summer days – three such days with you I could fill with more delight than fifty common years could ever contain.’ He, as a Romantic writer,¬†is, in my opinion, the beginner of the pink-up culture, a good, healthy, and sensible culture. I would imagine that, Wordsworth, who also agreed that literature comes from normal life, would love the pick-up-line culture, and expand the lines into rhymes, rhymes into poems, poems to a poetry collection. Yes, pick-up poems, pick-up books, pick-up passages that would help you through the ice-breaking process, and kill the dead air.

Do not underestimate the structure and techniques in pick-up lines, as far as I know, a successful pick up line is usually a highly metaphorical one, hopefully rhyme a bit. For example, ‘If you can build any kind of ship in the world, what would you build? I would build a relationship!’ This one is quite a metaphorical one, it may take the hearer a few seconds to realize what happened, its construction is detailed too, putting the ‘ship’ into the word ‘relation’ to make it work, clever. If you have read the poetry of Keats’, you would also find his work is as this line, highly metaphorical. So how can you not call good pick-up lines literature? The line ‘I have got XX kg of muscle of steel, and sex appeal.’ shows that pick up lines can rhyme. No matter how Wordsworth put forward the idea for blank verse, lines that rhyme are always better and more memorable.

Pick up lines are usually successful in making the hearer laugh, and it is usually the first step in building the possible¬†ship, what ship? Relationship. But if you are going for one, don’t quote from Shakespeare for a pick-up line, because it is highly risky. Remember a quote from A Mid Summer Night’s Dream? ‘Love looks not with the eyes, but with the mind, And therefore is winged Cupid painted blind.‘ It can be seen as offensive. And for Much Ado About Nothing, ‘For which of my bad parts didst thou fall in love with me?’ Do not try it either, you might get a reply with the title of the play, ‘Just that one, but then I knew it was Much Ado About Nothing.’

Pick-up lines are generally¬†inspired by creativity and the texts you read, the more you read, the more things you can make reference to.¬†For¬†instance, if you do not know anything about the¬†Science, you can never come across¬†the line ‘Hi,¬†I need to accuse¬†you of causing Global Warming because you are too hot.’¬†Wordsworh’s companion¬†Coleridge is correct,¬†poetry, or perhaps literature, is¬†as logical as Science,¬†but just¬†deeper as it includes¬†Science.¬†There should be a course in English Literature degree called ‘Pick-up course’, because it is an integral part of ANY LITERATURE in the world, and is potentially a new favourite genre of literature. Yes, I am sure if a person can create a pick-up poetry, pick-up story, pick-up biography, or maybe a pick-up novel, he can probably be crowned as the next Keats!