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To strike a straight blow with a crooked stick

English translation: To work with what you have

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GLOSSARY ENTRY (DERIVED FROM QUESTION BELOW)
English term or phrase:To strike a straight blow with a crooked stick
English translation:To work with what you have
Entered by: charoen
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06:59 Aug 25, 2002
English to English translations [PRO]
Art/Literary
English term or phrase: To strike a straight blow with a crooked stick
The author wrote "Rather than criticizing and resenting the imperfect system, I practice this philosophy: It is better to strike a straight blow with a crooked stick than spend my whole life trying to straighten the darn thing out.
charoen
Local time: 06:57
metaphoric expression
Explanation:
meaning \"work with what you have (crooked stick)\" rather than spending time trying to fix the problem from its root, which could take forever.
Selected response from:

Mike Sekine
Japan
Local time: 08:57
Grading comment
Thanks a lot, Mike and all other pros, for your explanations, examples and opinions.
4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer

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Summary of answers provided
4 +5metaphoric expressionMike Sekine
4 +1Some examples
jerrie


  

Answers


50 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +5
metaphoric expression


Explanation:
meaning \"work with what you have (crooked stick)\" rather than spending time trying to fix the problem from its root, which could take forever.

Mike Sekine
Japan
Local time: 08:57
Native speaker of: Native in JapaneseJapanese
PRO pts in pair: 12
Grading comment
Thanks a lot, Mike and all other pros, for your explanations, examples and opinions.

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Gayle Wallimann: That's it!
4 hrs

agree  RHELLER
4 hrs

agree  Libero_Lang_Lab: neatly explained - it's saying: better to be a pragmatist who can get things done, rather than an idealist who will never achieve his goals
4 hrs
  -> nicely put...

agree  airmailrpl: Dan hit it on the nose
9 hrs

agree  Tatiana Neroni
16 hrs
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1 hr   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +1
Some examples


Explanation:
"Our first minister was a man, but he was not a minister. Our second was a minister, but he was not a man. The one we have at present is neither a man nor a minister." You have to be a man of God, that is, a unpretentious clay pot which has real treasure inside his soul. Then God might use you. If God could not strike a straight blow with a crooked stick there would be no hope for the world. From the time of Gideon until today God has used the least likely weapons - jars of clay. God has used Abraham and Moses and David and Elijah and Isaiah and Peter and James and John. From what we know of their behaviour each one of them was a mere clay pot.

Or, if you were stranded on a desert island and your only hope was to build a raft, you would gather up and use whatever you could. Your intention/purpose (straight blow) is to escape. Your means of escape (crooked stick) will be whatever you can find.

Use what tools are available for your purpose rather than worrying about the tools themselves.

It is better to build raft with bits of old junk quickly than spend your whole life finding the perfect timbers and twine.

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Note added at 2002-08-25 08:02:54 (GMT)
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users.aber.ac.uk/emk/ap/sermons/2cor16.htm

Link for minister quote

jerrie
United Kingdom
Local time: 00:57
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in pair: 773

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Libero_Lang_Lab: fine example
4 hrs
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