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Give A Man A Fish...

Remodel an old saying
  (+22, -8)(+22, -8)
(+22, -8)
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"Give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish, and you feed him for life."

So goes the worthy old saw. Good in its day, more than likely, but completely inappropriate for the thrusting, cut-throat, dog eat dog world of modern commerce. I would suggest an alternative version:

"Teach a man to fish, and you introduce another competitor into the overcrowded fishing industry. Give a man a fish, and you stimulate demand for your product"

Mickey the Fish, Sep 04 2000

Give a fish a chance to speak.... http://www.ai.mit.e...vona/bass/bass.html
Seeing as nobody cares what the fish thinks, here's a way of putting words in their mouths. [notripe, Jan 11 2002, last modified Oct 04 2004]


       Teach a man to fish and he learns to covet your boat.
jimfl, Sep 04 2000

       Build a man a fire, and he's warm for a day.   

       Set a man on fire, and he's warm for the rest of his life.
StarChaser, Sep 04 2000

       Give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day. Explain why he needs a fish, explain that you are better than anyone else at fulfilling his fish requirements, and leave him your number and the website address of get-a-fish.com. Having stimulated his need for fish, both you and the venture capitalists will believe that there is no possible way he can get a fish online without coming to you. 100,000 people sign up in the first month. Your market cap goes to $50M. Now, quickly, sell up. Whilst you weren't looking your marketing manager thought it would be a great idea to turn your fish site into an 'Online Fish Portal'. As a result, everyone who signed up in the first month has followed the link to learn-to-fish.com, and taught themselves to fish online. Your company is now worthless, but you've walked away with $10M, and you still don't even know how to fish yourself.......
garethn, Sep 11 2000

       You've all got a very unhealthy obsession with fish if you ask me (which you didn't). A few sessions of fish aversion therapy are definitely required or a slap round the face with a wet one. I know a therapist in Bolivia...
DrBob, Sep 11 2000

       One man's meat is another man's poisson.
Mickey the Fish, Nov 03 2000

       Give a man a fish, and you satisfy his fish craving for a day. Give him fish aversion therapy, and you eliminate the craving for life.
baf, Nov 03 2000

       ... Teach him to fish and he'll sit in a boat drinking beer all day.
angel, Apr 24 2001

       "Give a man a fish, you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish, and run the risk of overfishing, contravening EU fishing policy, reducing the biodiversity of the world's oceans and increasing the economic decline of our once-great fishing industry."
hippo, Apr 24 2001

       Give a man a fish, and he'll probably look at you very odddly, and say something like. "I'm sorry, but you'll still have to pay the speeding fine...."
goff, May 09 2001

       Give a man a fish and you leave yourself wide open to lawsuits. Teach a man to fish and he'll ask for an ocean.   

       Give a man a goose and he'll most likely give you something back, yeah, right. Teach a man to goose and he'll soon get in trouble.   

       Give a man a fly and he'll think you're an idiot. Teach a man to fly and he'll end by looking down on you.   

       Oh, we've got hundreds of them.   

       Give a man a boil and he'll just get sore. Teach a man to boil and he'll be able to make his own tea.   

       Give a man a flush and he'll beat your pair of aces. Teach a man to flush and the toilet will stay clean longer.   

       Give a man a slide and he'll want a microscope. Teach a man to slide and he'll want a playground. You can't win.   

       Give a man a crab and it will pinch his fingers. Teach a man to crab and he'll complain about being pinched.
Dog Ed, May 09 2001

       Teach a man to fish and he'll forever owe you one for giving him a good way of getting away from the wife at the weekend
CoolerKing, May 09 2001

       Give a woman a fish and you'll be sleeping on the couch again.
sirrobin, May 10 2001

       Give a man a fish, and he'll wonder what you want from him.   

       Give a man a fish, and keep the slaughtered cattle blood drink for yourself.   

       Give a fish a man, and maybe survive your next boating accident.
absterge, May 10 2001

       Give a man a fish, and he may have some porpoise.
thumbwax, May 11 2001

       One I just heard and should probably keep to myself:   

       Give a man a fish and he'll eat for a day. Give a man religion and he'll starve to death praying for a fish.
centauri, May 11 2001

       Twenty annotations and all of them cynical, saddens me.   

       In the real world BOTH inmmediate handouts AND long-term training are needed and provided by aid organisations.   

       Like all animals we have a both-and nature, one half of each of us ["good"], oriented to group survival; the other half of each ["bad"} driven by self-survival.   

       But both sides regrettably are needed for the human-race to keep going; it's both-and again.   

       Complicated isn't it, but I still prefer "to walk cheerfully over the face of the world seeking that of good in everyone". [William Penn, I think.].   

       I'm sure for example that most if not all of the 20 cynics alongside were mainly fishing for laughs.   

       But we can't be laughing all the time. Starving people don't laugh much.
rayfo, May 15 2001

       Give a man a fish and hope he's not a vegan.
JoshW, May 15 2001

       This is precisely something that came up in my family the other day. My wife spewed the old saw to my 12-year-old son, and a discussion started over what it means, using money instead of fish. My wife said, "If I were poor, I'd rather be taught how to make a million dollars by a kind rich person than have them just give me a million dollars." My 12-year-old decided he agreed. Suddenly my 8-year-old said, "Well, if I were rich, I'd give a poor person a million dollars _and_ teach him how to make a million." I smiled and rubbed his curly little head, approvingly. Both-and.
globaltourniquet, May 15 2001

       Your wife would rather be taught how to make a million dollars by a rich person than have them just give her a million dollars?! What is she, nuts?
mrthingy, Jan 11 2002

bristolz, Jan 11 2002

       Okay, I just did as requested and gave Mickey a fishie. Wonder why only four other people could follow that simple request?
supercat, Jan 11 2002

       If you can make one million, you can make more.
waugsqueke, Jan 11 2002

       And besides, they say making your first million is the hardest.
nhyatt, Jan 11 2002

       And there was me thinking it said fist. ho hum. the [link] gives fish a chance.
notripe, Jan 11 2002

       If you can afford to, give the man a fish, teach him to fish and tell him to try all the different species.
wjt, Apr 04 2003

       Give a fish a man, and you'll have a movie like "Jaws"
zigness, Feb 14 2004

       Teach a man to spearfish, and he'll spend all day happily swimming, whether or not he gets any fish.
normzone, Feb 14 2004

       Give a man a fish and he'll have dinner.   

       Teach a man to fish and he'll be late for dinner.
caster, Apr 16 2004

       Give a fish a bicycle, and it falls down all day. Teach a fish to bicycle, and it joins a circus.
FarmerJohn, Apr 16 2004

       Build a man a fire, and keep him warm for a night. Set a man on fire, keep him warm for the rest of his life.   

       Think about it >:-)
Agamemnon, Apr 05 2006

       It has been said that rather than giving a man a fish it is better to teach a man to fish. They never once mention how difficult it may be to get that lazy sonuvagun to go along with the program. -Terry Syndergaard
Tee Ess, Jan 29 2007

       Give a man a fish, but don't tell him that you bought it at the supermarket. Tell him you caught it yourself. He'll appreciate it more. Later on, you can offer to teach him how to catch his own fish, but you'll want to say this on the way out. Otherwise, he might take you seriously.
daseva, Jan 29 2007

       //Sell a person a fish.// Reminds me of a quote that goes something along the lines of:
"Sell a man a fish, and he'll eat for a day
Teach a man to fish, and you lose a wonderful business opportunity."
I forget where I heard that one.
zen_tom, Jan 30 2007

       I thought the saying was "Give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish, and you feed him for a life time.".
BJS, Jan 30 2007

       Far more realistic given today's standards of education:   

       "Give a man a fish and he'll eat for a day. Give a man a fishing rod and he'll break it in two for firewod - or exchange it for a fish."
Mr Phase, Jan 30 2007

       Well, given the trends of today, give them a fishing video game.
normzone, Jan 30 2007

       Give a man a fish, and he'll expect 100 more on the first of every month. Teach a man to fish? Fugetaboutit!
wittyhoosier, Feb 01 2007

       How have I missed this one all this time?   

       Teach a man to fish, and he and his descendants will do so until all fish approach extinction. Then complain about fishing quotas.
Loris, Feb 01 2007

       Why are we handing out fish? And why only to men? I don't have any to hand out - should I have received one when I registered? Where are you guys getting them from? From the guy you taught to fish? If so, is he now just catching them to give them away? I don't understand stuff any more.
Scotty, Jan 13 2011

       [Scotty] It's like Google, Facebook, YouTube, etc. The fish is free and the fish provider makes money out of targetted advertising.
hippo, Jan 13 2011

       Hence that saying: if you want to be in advertising, you have to be willing to sell your sole.
imaginality, Jan 13 2011

       Give a man a fish, and he'll eat for a day. Give a halfbaker a fish, and he'll ramble on and on about how he's being unfairly targetted.
RayfordSteele, Jan 13 2011

       Give a man a fish sandwich from MacDonalds on Friday and it will cost 1.49 plus tax vs 3. something the other six days of the week. (They must buy entire catches of Pollock.)
popbottle, May 27 2014

       Give a man a coarse fishing rod, and he'll spend the rest of his life sitting alone on a canal bank, in the rain, under a huge green umbrella, fiddling with lures and hooks, drinking lukewarm tea from a thermos, and mumbling to his maggots. With luck, you'll never see or speak to him again.
8th of 7, May 29 2014

sp. superlager
calum, May 29 2014


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