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Re: Off topic: Pixilated proverbs




"Patricia M. Godfrey" wrote:
> 
> Lowell wrote that he was  "the one with arrows in my back." Heaven knows
> one sees the expression that way often enough, but it says the opposite
> of what is meant. The pioneers (a term that in older military usage
> designated what we would now call those on point, or the forward scouts)
> can be told because they have arrows in their CHESTS--they've tripped the
> ambush, fallen on the grenade, tempted the bushwhackers to act too soon,
> whatever. The only ones with arrows in their backs would be 1)
> yellow-bellied cowards who broke and ran (in some epic or other, I forget
> which, the--dead--hero's kin are reassured that "his wounds were all
> before [i.e. in his front]"; he never turned tail); or 2) an unpopular
> officer who was scragged by his own men.
> Patricia

I don't think it necessarily "says the opposite of what is meant". 
Attackers, possessing rational thought and placing "the win" over
"gentlemanly engagement on the field of battle", as it were, would
proceed as follows.  They would 1) select their place of ambush
carefully, 2) lie in wait for the enemy to pass, 3) pick off as many of
the enemy as possible by shooting them in the back--starting with the
last man and working forward, 4) count on getting more than one enemy
before the ones in front took noticed the their comrades dispatched
behind, and 5) fade away when their deed is finally discovered.  Perhaps
well placed arrows in the back would dispatch more before discovery than
would rifle shots--anyone willing to volunteer to test this theory?  If
so and to stay on topic, perhaps some version of Xywrite could be used
to publish the results.  :-)

Regards,

Lowell