Ever heard the saying, “You can’t have your cake and eat it too.”? What does that mean. Think about it, if I have cake… I’m going to eat it. Seriously, why can’t I have cake and eat it as well? I know I can…
Lately I’ve been thinking about the things we say. Words have meaning. And although I’m a mess of incorrect word usage, things like this make me think a bit. It turns out that the order was probably reversed at one point. John Heywood (1546), John Davies (1611), and Jonathan Swift (1738) all used this phrase, but in essence used it like this:
You cannot eat your cake and have it too.
Everybody back in the day
This makes sense. Of course, you cannot eat your cake, and have it as well. Once you eat it…it’s gone! This fits in its usage. Wikipedia says that the meaning (even though it’s usage doesn’t really mean it) is that you “cannot simultaneously retain your cake and eat it”. But going back to the original usage would make so much more sense. If you look at Google Ngram, sometime in 1938 usage changed from starting with “eat” to starting with “have”.
And let’s be honest, nothing good came out of the 30s. Depression, Hitler, King Edward VIII…so let’s change it back. Seriously… I mean let’s all eat cake!Permalink