Six of one, half a dozen of the other.
My sister uses this proverb all the time. We come from a family that uses a lot of proverbs, especially my mom who has one for every situation. This one in particular she uses a lot, and now my sister uses it all the time, too. The phrase Sex of one, half a dozen of the other essentially means that two seemingly different situations will bring about the same result or have the same effect at the end of the day. It can be interpreted in a variety of ways; my sister uses it for simple activities, for comparing objects, and most often for giving advice when I or her friends get into emotional situations.
I think these types of proverbs are very popular because they are simple and to the point. While it needs to be interpreted to some extent, its not difficult and it is generally very straightforward and easy to understand. Especially today, when people are running around and often busy, proverbs that are simple and easy to understand tend to be more popular rather than older, more complicated versions.
I think this proverb in particular is also really effective because it simplifies a difficult situation. I, for example, have really taken it into consideration when discussing certain issues with my sister. I tend to overanalyze and over think situations and how I should react to them. When my sister reminds me of this particular proverb, it is effective because I realize that I stress out for no reason and no matter what I do or think I will still be led to the same result. I know that this is true for my mother and a lot of my sisters friends as well because she uses it a lot and says she generally gets a changed reaction if the person she is talking to had been really stressed out.
I also tend to think that this proverb is commonly used in my family because of the humor behind it. Since my mom uses proverbs so often, we jokingly poke fun at her a lot. Sometimes, even if it doesnt make sense, well recite proverbs like this one that she says to joke around and add a little bit of humor to a situation. Though proverbs are more than often useful and convenient, they can also serve the purpose of holding significance in a family. Whether it is in a more serious sense, like when my sister gives advice, or in a more joking sense, like with my mom, this proverb proves to be very popular and used often.
Annotation: Jack, Albert. Red Herrings and White Elephants: The Origins of Phrases we Use Everyday. Bite the Bullet Harper Collins Publishers, 2005.