Residence: Corona del Mar, California
Date of Performance/Collection:
Primary Language: English
“Av barn og fulle folk får ein høyre sanninga.”
“From children and drunk people we hear the truth.”
Context: The informant’s grandmother was a Norwegian immigrant with many peculiar sayings. This was his favorite, as it gave him a rare sense of power as a child.
Interpretation: Because sober adults often act in their own self-interest and mask their intentions with flattery and deceit, it has been said in more than one language that honesty is reserved for children who have not yet learned to lie and manipulate and drunk people who do not have the mental capacity to mask their feelings and intentions. This can be used, as is the case with my informant, to empower children and encourage them to maintain their honesty and forthrightness. It can also make adults more likely to share their true feelings because it indirectly shames their general dishonesty. Lastly, it makes people more receptive to the thoughts and feelings of children and drunk people, who are both often overlooked because they are seen as foolish and incapable of sharing knowledge.