English Vocabulary

Need help to understand

I confess I can't catch what this quotation means. If you got it, please tell me.

Several years before birth, advertise for a couple of parents belonging to long-lived families. (by Oliver Wendell Holmes)


  • This an advise sentence, giving the recommendation we should look for parents who stem from a family which members use to live to very high age, because this, by genetic inheritance, increases our own life expectancy.

    We should start our search several years before we are born.

    I'm not sure about what Wendell Holmes wanted to say in the first part,
    that is starting the quest some years prior to our birth. I can only interpret here.
    Assumedly, a couple of parents, both of whom have a high life expectancy, is hard to find,
    and finding them might take several years.
  • Self-correction: 'piece of advice' is better and correct. 'advise sentence' is an oversight.
    I first wrote only 'sentence', but changed it to 'advise' and forgot to delete 'sentence'. And the
    's' in 'advise' is a typo. Sorry for that.
  • No problem with a slip of the pen, Whacky, especially from an expert of your kind.
    Now, thanks to you, I catch the meaning.
    Several years before birth pretends to be joking but it doesn't really.
    Thank you for your time.
  • You're welcome, it was my pleasure.

    There are many other very wise quotes and aphorisms
    of Oliver Wendell Holmes, it's really worthwile to
    look into them.
  • Before setting up in business make it public and look for reliable partners in good time - use advertisement. This is my interpretation for that.
    But I've another riddle, at least for me. A latin proverb:

    Don't that just butter your grits.

    What does that even mean?
    Ta mates
    Lord Capablanca
  • For sure, capablanca, you are a businessman for taking the quote metaphorically.

    About your riddle: I would end the 'riddle' with a question mark (a pure English one, like those of your monolingual GymGlish).
    Don't that just butter your grits?
    In other words (say, less picturesque):
    Doesn't that only help you to pluck up your courage?

    Looking forward to other interpretations and above all to you next riddle.
  • No, unfortunaly I'm not a busy businessman, but Oliver Wendell Sr. was more the one surely. I've found this quote under Advertising quotes.
    Sorry, once again no, there is no question mark. Google it simply! It's one of the English "shortcuts" and means "Don't (be) that just butter your grits!", I suppose. And so it could also mean, do not waste your butter for simple grits. In other words, be effective.(Oh no, not again business!)
    Have a great day
    Lord Capablanca
  • Okey dokey, Lord.

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