Pinch of salt

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3 comments on this post.
  1. D Goorevitch:

    So the modern usage comes from bad medieval food. That’s a far cry from the legendary origin! In fact, it’s its opposite. It’s like a “spoonful of sugar,” “holding one’s nose and voting….”

  2. Shane B.:

    Follow up question, that I’m hoping you can clarify for me. I’ve noticed a lot of writers when wanting to add hyperbole to the idiom, “grain of salt”, they make the portion of salt bigger. Example, “I’m getting the information second hand so take it with a mountain(/wheelbarrel/pile etc.) of salt.”

    To me this seems like the writer is going the wrong way, based on the historical value of salt, wouldn’t more of it correspond with taking the information more literally, or at face value? Wouldn’t it be more accurate to write “I’m getting the information second hand so take it with a molecule(/atom/quark etc.) of salt”?

    Can you clarify?


  3. Bob Gotschall:

    I have nothing to base this on but what about taking a pinch of Epsom salts, as a laxative? I find the imagery of just letting it pass on through compelling.

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