Friday, November 13, 2009

Quit Making Things Up and Keep Your Powder Dry!

Over the past 24 hours, Madame has taken the gloves off and has gone all mama grizzly on the AP (Anti Palin or as some people know it as, the Associated Press). The AP got a hold of Madame's book early, somehow, and began to spread misrepresentations.

So Madame and I went work on Facebook to say, "quit making things up". Madame's title for this post was, "Keep Your Powder Dry". Hmm, what was she talking about? Here's what the fun phrase means:

Meaning:Be prepared and save your resources until they are needed.

Origin:The allusion is to gunpowder which soldiers had to keep dry in order to be ready to fight when required. This advice reputedly originated with Oliver Cromwell during his campaign in Ireland. In Ballads of Ireland (1856), Edward Hayes wrote:

"There is a well-authenticated anecdote of Cromwell. On a certain occasion, when his troops were about crossing a river to attack the enemy, he concluded an address, couched in the usual fanatic terms in use among them, with these words - 'put your trust in God; but mind to keep your powder dry'."

19th century citations of the phrase invariably give the full version - trust in God and keep your powder dry. This emphasizes that the keep your powder dry was seen only as an additional insurance. This is made clear in a piece from The Times Literary Supplement, 1908:

"In thus keeping his powder dry the bishop acted most wisely, though he himself ascribes the happy result entirely to observance of the other half of Cromwell's maxim."

Trust in God, and keep your powder dry. That sounds like Madame alright. She trust the Lord, but she's ready. Media malpractice is going to be happening all over the place in the next few weeks.

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