Hindsight is 20/20 and 20/20 hindsight

  • Hindsight is 20/20 and 20/20 hindsight are two versions of the same idea. We will examine the meaning of the expressions hindsight is 20/20 and 20/20 hindsight, where they came from and some examples of their use in sentences.


    Hindsight is 20/20 is a proverb that means it is easy to understand something after it has already happened. The expression hindsight is 20/20 is usually said in answer to an admonishment that the person should have known something would happen, or that the person made a bad decision. It is easy to see what someone should have done, after the situation is already finished. Hindsight is 20/20 is a proverb, which is a short, common saying or phrase that particularly gives advice or shares a universal truth. Common proverbs are phrases used in the English language in order to convey a concise idea, and are often spoken or are considered informal or conversational. Sometimes, only the beginning of a proverb is quoted, the speaker assuming that the listener can supply the rest of the quote for himself. Many English as a Second Language students do not understand proverbs, as they attempt to translate them word for word, which yields only the literal meaning. In addition to learning vocabulary and grammar, one must understand the figurative meaning of a proverb in order to know English like a native speaker. The term 20/20 hindsight is a noun phrase with the same meaning. The expression is a combination of the word hindsight, which means understanding the scope of something or the decision one should have made, and the term 20/20. 20/20 is a term used in ophthalmology to mean normal vision. The term came into use with the introduction of the Snellen eye chart, which measures visual acuity. Many people are familiar with the Snellen chart, as it is the basis of the current examination that an eye doctor or ophthalmologist administers in order to assess the ability of the patient to see. Snellen helped to develop standardized measurements in vision testing. The first number in the expression 20/20 stands for how many feet away from the chart the person is standing in order to see it. The second number is how many feet away from the chart the average person must be standing from the chart in order to see it. For instance, if a patient’s vision is 10/100, that means that the patient must stand only ten feet away from the chart in order to see what the average person sees at one hundred feet away from the chart. Many believe that the term 20/20 refers to perfect vision, but it actually refers to what is average for human vision. Today, the eye chart used in a vision test is often projected on the wall. Nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism may be helped with corrective lenses, in glasses or contact lenses. An eye exam is a good idea even for people who do not need corrective lenses or a lens prescription, in order to diagnose other eye conditions and eye diseases that can cause vision impairment, from simple eye strain to dry eye, from cataracts to macular degeneration or glaucoma. Visiting an eye health practitioner can prevent blindness. Note that the expressions hindsight is 20/20 and 20/20 hindsight involve a slash between the numbers 20 and 20. The numbers are occasionally seen as words, in which case they are separated with a hyphen as in hindsight is twenty-twenty and twenty-twenty hindsight.



    With the benefit of 20/20 hindsight, every amateur manager on the sofa back in Denver would have issued a free pass to Moustakas, and let Ottavino go after light-hitting catcher Manny Pina to end Milwaukee’s two-out threat. (The Denver Post)

    Hindsight is 20/20, so here’s the truth no Rutgers fan wants to hear, especially given how the month of September went for the Scarlet Knights. (The Asbury Park Press)

    “Hindsight is twenty-twenty but we certainly had some motivation problems on our side, I think, in 2016,” he said. (Time Magazine)

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