Increasing our proverb deficit

Renowned China scholar and shoe-seller Ivanka Trump tweeted an Ancient Chinese Proverb yesterday, except that it was greeted by many people pointing out that it’s not a Chinese proverb. Oh yeah? Well what is it then?! A commonplace thought.

Those who say it can not be done, should not interrupt those doing it.

Oh, awesome. Also, those who don’t like what’s for dinner, can go out and get their own. Similarly, those who forget to walk the dog, can damn well clean up the poop right this second before doing anything else. Likewise, those who like to pull in lots of $$$ from expensive dreck, do well to have a rich corrupt daddy to make it all happen. Chinese proverbs, every one of them.

A lack of a clear source for Trump’s tweet has some people speculating the first daughter either made it up or, a more likely explanation, cut and pasted the saying from an unreliable website. In the meantime, the search for this “proverb” through ancient Chinese texts has become something of a viral Quixotic quest in China, filled with many a sarcastic comment:

“Did you get that from a fortune cookie?”

“估计是 fortune cookie 上学来的…”

But

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