All that glitters is not gold - 12th century French...

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“All that glitters is not gold” Meaning A showy article may not necessarily be valuable. Origin The original form of this phrase was 'all that glisters is not gold'. The 'glitters' version of the phrase long ago superseded the original and is now almost universally used. Shakespeare is the best-known writer to have expressed this idea . The original Shakespeare editions of The Merchant of Venice , 1596, have the line as ' all that glisters is not gold '. 'Glister' is usually replaced by 'glitter' in renditions of the play: MOROCCO: O hell! what have we here? A carrion Death, within whose empty eye There is a written scroll! I'll read the writing. All that glitters is not gold; Often have you heard that told: Many a man his life hath sold But my outside to behold: Gilded tombs do worms enfold. Had you been as wise as bold, Young in limbs, in judgment old, Your answer had not been inscroll'd: Fare you well; your suit is cold. The Bard was by no means the first to suggest that 'all that glitters/glisters is not gold'. The
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Unformatted text preview: 12th century French theologian Alain de Lille wrote "Do not hold everything gold that shines like gold". In 1553, we have Thomas Becon, in The relikes of Rome : "All is not golde that glistereth." George Turberville, in Tragical tales, (and other poems) , 1587, wrote that "All is not gold that glistringly appeere." The 'glitters' version of this phrase is so long established as to be perfectly acceptable - especially as 'glisters' and 'glitters' mean the same thing and are essentially synonymous. Only the most pedantic insist that 'all that glisters is not gold' is correct and that 'all that glitters is not gold', being a misquotation, however cobweb-laden, , should be shunned. John Dryden was quite happy to use 'glitters' as long ago as 1687, in his poem, The Hind and the Panther: For you may palm upon us new for old: All, as they say, that glitters, is not gold....
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This note was uploaded on 11/19/2009 for the course ED 21086 taught by Professor Jeanmitchell during the Spring '09 term at California State University , Monterey Bay.

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