Aphorism     

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 individuals.

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 Wikiquote).

  index     glossary  

last revised 03 August 2017

 

Copyright 1997- 2017 by Mahlon H. Smith
All rights reserved.

an American Theological Library Association Selected Religion Website 
OCLC World catalog no. 60769417

Educational freeware.
Links to these WebPages are welcome.
But they may not be mirrored or posted elsewhere.
Nor are the contents to be distributed commercially.

Reproduction of all or part of these pages in print form is permitted provided
the author is credited & the internet URL properly noted.

This website has been accessed more than 2,000,000 times in its first 20 years on line.