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Rule of Thumb

Posted in English Language by Benjamin on 08 Jan 2016

There is no official explanation for how this expression developed, but most people think it has to do with measuring distance; an average thumb is about an inch long, so if you don’t have a ruler, you can use your thumb as a substitute. It makes sense then that "rule of thumb" has come to mean ANY GUIDING PRINCIPLE OR GENERAL METHOD FOR DOING THINGS. It’s not intended to be 100% accurate all the time, but it can be useful in certain situations.

Here are a few “rules of thumb” that have nothing to do with measuring distance:

  1. Always offer your seat to the elderly, the disabled, and pregnant women. They might not want it, but it’s better to be courteous than selfish.

  2. Don’t walk around the city alone at night. Walk with at least one other person, and if you must travel by yourself, keep your head up and be alert. (Don’t wear headphones or earbuds at night.)

  3. Don’t mix brown and clear liquor. You will regret it…

  4. If you’re going to eat food that belongs to your roommates, only take a little, and NEVER eat the last of something you did not buy. That’s just rude.

  5. If it’s nice outside, go for a walk, even if you’re not in the mood. Good weather doesn’t last forever, and in the middle of winter, a sunny memory is sometimes all we have. That, and a good stiff drink. (See rule #3)

  6. Don’t try to date two different people in the same day. It never ends well…

  7. Cook at least one meal a week. Too much processed food and dining out can hurt your body as well as your bank account.

    Those are just a few rules of thumb I live by. Feel free to share a few of your own!

    Benjamin