The Corner

Wisdom of The Turks

I am amazed at the number of Turkish readers we have. The proverb I

posted–”Nerede cokluk, orada bokluk”–does indeed translate pretty much as

I posted it: “Where there are people, there is doo-doo.” It is used to

express the perception, which seems to be strong among Turks, that all human

affairs–especially those involving large numbers of people–contain an

irreducible and unavoidable component of disorder, mess, chaos, bungling,

stupidity, screw-up, SNAFU, FUBAR, monkeys trying to get intimate with

footballs, etc. etc. etc. The nearest American equivalent would

be–cleaning up the language a little–”stuff happens.” As a matter of

fact, in my experience, this sense of the chaos-potential of all group

activity is strongest among military people, presumably because in military

matters the consequences of it tend to be more dire.

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