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Ignorance is bliss

  • Ignorance is bliss is a proverb. A proverb is a short, common saying or phrase. It particularly gives advice or shares a universal truth, or imparts wisdom. Synonyms for proverb include adage, sayings, and byword, which can also be someone or something that is the best example of a group. Often, a proverb is so familiar that a speaker will only quote half of it, relying on the listener to supply the ending of the written or spoken proverb himself. Speakers of English as a second language are sometimes confused by these expressions as translations do not carry the impact that the English phrases carry. Some common proverbs are better late than never, you reap what you sow, an apple a day keeps the doctor away, never look a gift horse in the mouth, a rolling stone gathers no moss, and haste makes waste. One of the books of the Bible is the Book of Proverbs, which contains words and phrases that are still often quoted in the English language because they are wise. Many current proverbs are taken from literature, particularly Shakespeare, as well as the Bible and other sacred writings. We will examine the meaning of the expression ignorance is bliss, where the phrase came from, and some examples of its use in sentences.


     

    Ignorance is bliss is an expression that means it is better not to know a fact, that one is happier not being informed about a particular thing. There are many circumstances where ignorance is bliss. For instance, not knowing the odds against accomplishing something may allow you to give a better performance. Not knowing about hurtful gossip keeps your self esteem intact. Being ignorant of certain facts in certain situations allows one to make choices or perform better with a minimum of worry, anxiety or doubt. Of course, in many situations, remaining ignorant is dangerous or a detriment. The unknowing described in the phrase ignorance is bliss may be due to being stupid, uninformed, or uneducated, or it may be due to willful ignorance or choosing not to know a specific fact. The phrase ignorance is bliss was coined by Thomas Gray in his 1742 poem, Ode on a Distant Prospect of Eton College: “Thought would destroy their paradise. / No more; where ignorance is bliss, / ‘Tis folly to be wise.”

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    Examples

    Tracks like “Inner City Pressure” and “Business Time” and their two albums “Flight of the Conchords” and “I Told You I Was Freaky” describe the lives of alternate versions of the band members as if they had repressed the sad realities of the world into an ignorance-is-bliss state of denial. (The Daily Nebraskan)

    It recognises the pressing need for well-educated and highly trained immigrants and its immigration policy reflects that priority, unlike the US, which faces similar challenges but chooses to keep its head buried in the sand in the spirit of ignorance is bliss. (University World News)

    It’s not so much a case of ignorance is bliss, as it is the belief: Why clutter your mind with stuff that does not matter? (The Dayton Daily News)


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