Sharon Fenick first heard the figure of speech "rule of thumb" cited as a sexist pejorative during her freshman year at Harvard seven years ago. The phrase was invoked in a lecture as an example of domestic abuse permitted by British common law. The rule of thumb, according to the professor, was a law that allowed a man to beat his wife so long as the rod used was no thicker than his thumb.
So Far. Who's the Queen of Comics? Hint: Not Wonder Woman.
This seemingly innocent figure of speech drew fire from a female student, Jess Brinn, who wrote: ''For the unaware, in English vernacular, rule of thumb refers to an obvious solution of doing things the way they have always been done. However, the phrase originated in English common law, where a man was permitted to beat his wife as long as the rod he used was no bigger than the width of his thumb. So we should.
You might already be familiar with the 6x6 rule. This presentation rule suggests that you should include no more than six words per line and no more than six bullet points per slide. Sure, the sentiment behind it is pretty valid.
What does it take to become an expert or master performer in a given field? Ericsson says the rule is an oversimplification, and in many ways, an incorrect interpretation of his research. The 10, Hour Rule: Catchy and easy to remember, but on some pretty shaky scientific footing.
Talent is passed down from parents or grandparents it seems, whether it is musical or artistic skill, ability with numbers or being great at juggling. No doubt there are significant genetic factors involved, but there are almost certainly environmental factors in the mix too. Perhaps the two work together, one boosting the other, so that those remarkable genes give rise to remarkable talent only if the skills are suitably nurtured.
First par first. In the various American colonies, laws differed from place to place and year to year. Dependents included indentured servants, slaves, children, and wives.
Feminists often make that claim that the "rule of thumb" used to mean that it was legal to beat your wife with a rod, so long as that rod were no thicker than the husband's thumb. Thus, one constantly runs into assertions like this: someone might want to be careful using "rule of thumb" in a sarcastic way. However, Christina Hoff Sommers documents how the link between the phrase "rule of thumb" and wifebeating is a feminist-inspired myth of recent vintage.
The English phrase rule of thumb refers to a principle with broad application that is not intended to be strictly accurate or reliable for every situation. It refers to an easily learned and easily applied procedure or standard, based on practical experience rather than theory. This usage of the phrase can be traced back to the seventeenth century and has been associated with various trades where quantities were measured by comparison to the width or length of a thumb.