Truisms That Aren’t True

We are a culture that prides itself on being able to look at any complex situation and answer it with an obnoxious combination of words that we are all supposed to accept as true. We call them “truisms.” For those in the dark, they’re called truisms because they are so largely accepted as true that to refute their applicability is considered ludicrous.

Well, I’ve always been one for the ludicrous.

Here’s the thing, truisms may have a time and a place, but they aren’t always as obvious as we would think, hence the post title “Truisms That Aren’t True.”

Just to give you an example of some of the self-evident truths that we hold so dear, let’s take a look at a couple of truisms that couldn’t be further from the truth.

One of my personal favorites is the age-old saying, “no use crying over spilt milk.” Sure, it’s basically saying not to sweat the small stuff, especially when it does you no good, but there’s gotta be a better way of saying this than the aforementioned and incredibly obnoxious phrase.

Now, it’s just a ridiculous turn of phrase, so you may wonder, why do I take such an issue with it? I’ll tell you why.


Babies, literally, cry over spilt milk all the time. I mean, in between milk and diaper changes, I’m not sure what else they cry about.

But I know what you’re thinking. Surely this is an isolated example. I’m not so sure that it is. There are a number of other truisms that, honestly, couldn’t be further from the truth.

Another personal favorite is the disturbingly common, “an apple a day keeps the doctor away.” Okay, this might have been true if you were a pirate who was trying to fight off scurvy, but seriously? There are plenty of things an apple won’t cure.

What’s an apple gonna do when you find yourself stricken with swine flu? Not a whole lot, that’s what.

Or, another one of my favorites, “Age ain’t nothin’ but a number.” Tell that to Mary Kay Letourneau. Actually, I’m sure she’d side with you, but the prosecutors in the case against her? Probably not so much.

Now, not all truisms are false. Okay, so I can’t think of any that I actually agree with right now, but you know what I mean. I don’t mean to completely dismiss them, but they always make me a little uneasy, especially when there are so many that are out-and-out wrong.


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