S. Worthen (owlfish) wrote,
S. Worthen

To broaden one's horizons

Thanks to haggisthesecond. (See! I remembered!) -

I had hoped to be able to write up the origins of the phrase "to broaden one's horizons" but, disappointingly, my usual sources failed to even mention the phrase, let alone provide me with an explanation of where it came from. (OED, Brewer's, Bartlett's) The only context in which I'm used to hearing about multiple horizons is astronomy, but I can't think why an astronomer would require bigger horizons than the sky provides. What would "narrower horizons" be? The view out of a window, as opposed to being outdoors with no trees or hills?

Bartlett's at least had the phrase in a couple of permutations, the oldest of which was written by Baudelaire in the mid-nineteenth century:
" To be just, that is to say, to justify its existence, criticism should be partial, passionate and political, that is to say, written from an exclusive point of view, but a point of view that opens up the widest horizons."

haggisthesecond and I have concluded that, all other things being equal, shorter people have broader horizons than taller ones, since the higher up you are, the closer far things appear to be.

  • One more Eurovision song

    I finally bought the album for this year's Eurovision. I listened to it on random today while sorting papers. Much to my surprise, a song came on…

  • Eurovision Entries 2017

    This year's Eurovision song contest features a ridiculously large number of videos with very gloomy visuals, some justified, some not. Over half were…

  • The start of goodbye

    I wrote this for a four-year-old, trying to minimize the amount of challenging vocabulary incorporated. Perhaps someone else out there would like…

  • Post a new comment


    default userpic

    Your reply will be screened

    Your IP address will be recorded 

    When you submit the form an invisible reCAPTCHA check will be performed.
    You must follow the Privacy Policy and Google Terms of use.