A brief pithy
saying, usually characterized by striking logic and/or imagery. Often confused
with proverbs & maxims which embody common observations & traditional
wisdom, the aphorism originates as a fresh expression of a particular
speaker's unconventional insights. While proverbs reflect the basic
values of a society, aphorisms reflect the personal viewpoint of distinct
Proverbs are based
on observations that anyone might immediately accept as generally true.
Aphorisms, on the other hand, are often initially startling. They are
remembered as the saying of a particular author, while proverbs quickly become
public property. Oft-repeated aphorisms can in time become the wisdom shared
by their author's followers. But they still reflect a characteristic outlook
that distinguishes that particular group from others.
Other On-line Resources:
Aphorisms - a collection of aphorisms about aphorisms by ancient &
modern authors (posted by