English translation: bad custom, more honored when violated than when followed
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GLOSSARY ENTRY (DERIVED FROM QUESTION BELOW)
English term or phrase:
honored more in the breach than the observance
bad custom, more honored when violated than when followed
Explanation: Here, as often happens with this allusion, the great man's meaning is turned around: "Perhaps it is a saving grace of Russian politics these days that laws and orders are honored more in the breach than in the observance." What the writer meant was that the laws and orders were broken more often than they were obeyed. But Hamlet, who said it first, meant something else. When he described his stepfather's boozy carryings-on as a custom "more honored in the breach than the observance," he meant it was a bad custom, more honored when violated than when followed. Not the same thing, and the pretty phrase is usable in its original sense.
on the original plays by Shakespeare. Having read more context carefully I intend to think that my author had actually thought of the original notion - A,B,C breach the sequence because they feel it's good to breach it, and the author's occusations of ignorance relate to the lack of vision and ability to capitalize on a good thing.
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3 mins confidence: peer agreement (net): +4
The rule is more often broken than observed
Explanation: The simple sequence is often not followed, because neither side realises it should be.
David Knowles Local time: 18:27 Specializes in field Native speaker of: English PRO pts in category: 72