Words Worth a Thousand Words

They say a picture is worth a thousand words, right?

(And while we’re on the topic, who’s this eponymous “they?” “They” seem to get around a lot and make endless, overarching recommendations for humanity. Hubris.)

Sometimes words are worth more than pictures.

Take for instance, fortune cookies.




With just a simple snap, a poignant and thought-provoking combination of words says more than a picture ever can.

(However, the “poignant and thought-provoking” portion is debatable. Take for instance, some of the worst fortune cookie fortunes ever: “Today is probably a huge improvement over yesterday,” “Someone will invite you to a karaoke party,” or “Cookies go stale. Fortunes are forever.”)

If you look hard enough, you’ll find little thought-provoking phrases all over the world.


Take a look.


"Felices ter et amplius quos inrupta tenet copula nec malis."


This phrase appears at an entrance to Harvard and is a quote from the Latin poet, Horace. Stylistically translated it means, “Thrice happy they, and more than that, Whom bond of love so firmly ties…” (And I’m a sucker for anything Latin or related to the Romans.)


"Grow old with me; the best is yet to be."

From a sundial at Southern Methodist University.


Translated from Italian: "If it's not fun, why do it?"


Thanks to the free ice cream at Ben and Jerry’s in Florence, I discovered a mantra that I know some people would jump at to live by.


"50 is the new 40!"


In Germany. Yes, to each his own.


"Omnia vincit labor."


Translated from Latin, “Work conquers all.” A phrase that perfectly captures Germany.



From the birthland of Latin, this phrase translated means, “Love your neighbors as yourself.


"Se ci sei tu non ho bisogno che paura."


From a graffittied wall in Lucca, Italy comes the romanticism of the Italians, “If you’re here, I have nothing to fear.”



From Coldplay’s song, “Yellow,” you can always find little reminders of home.



So take a look around you. You might be surprised by what you find.


4 thoughts on “Words Worth a Thousand Words

  1. If a picture’s worth a thousand words, and sometimes words are worth a thousand words…then pictures of words must be worth 1000000 words, right? I like this idea for a post. There are words everywhere…I love that you noticed them

  2. Years ago, I was stuck on the Santa Monica freeway in Los Angeles. I said, ‘There must be something here which I need to learn’. I looked at all the cars ahead of me, and saw the bumper sticker: MAKE YOUR DREAMS COME TRUE. wAKE UP!!!

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