1. writingfourmuser
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    writingfourmuser New Member

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    "A picture is worth a thousand words" - aphorism, proverb, or both?

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by writingfourmuser, Jan 25, 2015.

    As the title implies, I'm wondering if the phrase is an aphorism, proverb, or perhaps a combination of the two. Please explain why :D
     
  2. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    My opinion: It's an adage. Technically it is also a proverb. I don't think aphorism applies.


    Hi, welcome to the forum.
     
  3. qwertyportne
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    qwertyportne Member

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    Wikipedia agrees with you, Ginger Coffee--it's an adage. I'd love to say it's also a metaphor, but even if I re-phrased it as "A picture is like a thousand words." it would probably only qualify as a simile? Whatever it is in someone's dictionary, it always reminds me that words are only handles to carry the idea of some thing to another person--not the thing itself.
     
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  4. Megalith
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    Megalith Contributing Member Contributor

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    I would go so far as to say it is worth more than a single thousand. Whole novels have been inspired by pictures, or vice versa. That is definitely a proverb/adage and one that that people think is a little exaggerated when I think the other way, that it is a bit of an understatement. Still gets the idea across well.
     
  5. plothog
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    plothog Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

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    If we're going to start analysing this adage, it depends on the picture.
    If I draw a stick man, it's not worth a thousand words.
    Something that's designed to be looked at for a while like an Escher, a Dali or a Where's Wally is probably worth more than a thousand.
     
  6. Chinspinner
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    Chinspinner Contributing Member Contributor

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    [​IMG]

    How many words is this picture worth?
     
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  7. plothog
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    plothog Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

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    The beast looked like a child’s attempt to create a mythological beast. A tiger’s tail, body and ears combined with the face of a tyrannosaurus rex.

    The tigerdinosaur only had two legs, one at the front of its body and one at the back. It was a wonder it didn't fall over. One curved talon protruded from each of its feet, but if it tried to attack anyone with them, it would end up flat on its face for sure.

    But then the tigerdinosaur opened its mouth to reveal a set of curved teeth as sharp as blades, and Plothog’s laughter faded. Time to get out of here.

    ----------------------------
    By this highly scientific approach of writing about your picture until I got bored, I deduce it's worth 108 words ;)
     
  8. Chinspinner
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    Chinspinner Contributing Member Contributor

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    Actually I drew this and it is supposed to be my neighbour's cat :mad:
     
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  9. plothog
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    plothog Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

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    It's worth more words if you go by my interpretation.
     
  10. Megalith
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    Megalith Contributing Member Contributor

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    This depiction of a member of the feline family is a primal depiction of the beast. Or that is to be the assumption from the little we can make out from the markings on the creature. It is rather difficult to gleam any more information about what type of feline this may be from the specific features of the animal portrayed here. The artistic skill of the individual who drew this piece of art is an equivalent portrayal of the skill that was developed by the men who walked our planet no less than twenty-thousand years ago. It is clear from the lack of prominent detail used to distinguish the animal that the artist drew at a speed, carelessness, and inexperience you would find in a child. It is possible then that this drawing was composed by a very young individual. However, after close analysis it almost too likely that this was a creation of digital art by an ‘amateur’ digital artist. The thickness of the lines with rigidness of the strokes tells me this was probably done with a mouse in a simple depiction program like paint. A mouse is a very rudimentary piece machinery for something as complex as portraying the fine details and muscular definitions that vary between the different animals that exist. Thus the result is to be expected, even with an elementary understanding of art. Although comparable in simplicity to the quality of drawings which date back before society existed, the form and shape of the objects is still not as advanced as one might find in an ancient cave. They had shading too. As stated before, the reason for this was most likely the drawing instrument. If we saw the artist draw a similar animal, using a more appropriate tool for drawing, than we could expect much improvement in the form of the objects which represent this feline. Maybe then it would become possible to tell what type of feline is being portrayed here. One can assume they are a nasty beast, if we compare teeth to face proportions, but that is really only a representation of the accuracy the artist decided to use to portray the teeth of the animal and says little about the teeth the animal had that this picture references. It is also possible that this was sketched first, then scanned into a computer, and finally digitally traced. The reason I think this is possible is because of the blurriness portrayed around some of the lines, especially towards the feet of the creature. This would be surprising because of the lack of form that was attempted to distinguish the animal. Because of this, besides a tiger, lynx, or house cat, it could just as well be a Zebra or Thylacine. Especially if we look at the loosest interpretations, we might see a Dino-Tiger, or Rat-lizard. I would be surprised to find that this is not a physical representation of an existing animal because it doesn’t have any features which make it fantastical or exotic. If this was something merely contrived by imagination alone, then we would see some evidence that they attempted to make this creature unique enough to distinguish it from any animal that does exist(unless of course they were severely lacking in imagination). It is much more accurate to say that this was a creation meant to represent an existing creature and was so purposefully malformed beyond recognition that it was meant as an inside joke to garnish laughs from people who could still see the key features which made the exaggerated beast recognizable.



    To this respect, this piece gains value to which some might not understand right away. Rather than an informative or perspective drawing, this is an existential piece which mocks the form of art as a tool of expression. This is further exemplified by the coloring which goes outside the lines. In digital art, this type of mistake would be more than easy to correct. But it is left in on purpose to capture the simplistic style you would see a child have when coloring inside a color-book. The un-even layer that represents the colored areas of the animal’s markings is another example of this statement. Now it is important to asses the value of this art piece. Not only by the statement it is making but also in the way that it makes it. Taking into account that a childish representation was used to mock the art, not directly I might add: Remember it was drawn to foolishly represent something literal and existing. And those that know what this represents or know the individual who created it might recognize the source for the inspiration. The foolish representation would then cause most who recognize such a malformed creature to chuckle, as a coping mechanism to not being able to believe something so far from the actual is still recognizable, OR at how unbelievably bad the sketch artist skills are. This means the piece is originally meant for a small target audience, and valuing it as a statement on art as a whole is at most more of an afterthought for the creator, maybe even unintentional. But it is ironic that it uses the simplest way to try and make that statement with unevolved skills which lack the ability to properly describe the detail that is associated often with art. This is not only the most common way this statement is made, which takes points for originality, but it is also the most shallow method of representing such a deep social statement. This piece makes this statement using a single color, very simple lines, poor skills, compounded by purposefully demeaning said, poor skills, and possibly bad instruments or lack of skill using the instruments involved in this piece of art. Considering the time it would take to create this piece I have to say that not much thought or time went into it and is overall unoriginal and unappealing to anyone outside the target audience. 2/10
     
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  11. HelloImRex
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    HelloImRex Contributing Member

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    It depends on the file type and resolution of the picture. Some large animated gif is probably worth a lot more than 1000 words while a 4 pixel jpg is only a few words in length. Lets just go with how big a five letter word is when entered into and entered microsoft word as a standard. Okay, if I write the word "fruit" in microsoft word it is a 12.3 kb document
    However, If I enter in "fruit apple", it is still a 12.3 kb document. If I press return and write fruit again, the document becomes 12.4 kb. Therefore, each line in microsoft word is ~.1kb and 18 5 letter words fit on a page. so ~.006kb is the value of a word. Therefore, if a picture is worth 1000 words it is 5.55kb. I know I have a lot of pictures that are much bigger so that saying is kind of under-exaggeration.
     
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2015
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  12. DaveOlden
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    DaveOlden Member

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    That, my friend, is precisely 1,116 words and judging from my laughter, entirely worth it!

    Dave Olden
     
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  13. stevesh
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    stevesh Banned Contributor

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    In a thousand words I can have the Lord's Prayer, the 23rd Psalm, the Hippocratic Oath, a sonnet by Shakespeare, the Preamble to the Constitution, Lincoln's Gettysburg Address and almost all of the Boy Scout Oath. Now exactly what picture were you planning to trade for all that?

    Roy H. Williams
     
  14. Chinspinner
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    Chinspinner Contributing Member Contributor

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    This one: -
    [​IMG]
     
  15. HelloImRex
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    HelloImRex Contributing Member

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    [​IMG]

    Honestly, that picture is probably worth more. There are probably a few others too, that's just the first that comes to mind.

    The picture was used heavily when figuring out the structure of DNA. Also, if graphs count as pictures there are probably at least one hundred from various scientific papers worth trading.

    There's probably been at least one time in war when getting a hold of enemy plans was worth a lot to history down the road. If a map is counts as a picture that could also work for something worth trading.
     
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2015

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