Reinvent the wheel



reinvent the wheel

jargon
To design or implement a tool equivalent to an existing one or part of one, with the implication that doing so is silly or a waste of time. This is often a valid criticism. On the other hand, automobiles don’t use wooden rollers, and some kinds of wheel have to be reinvented many times before you get them right. On the third hand, people reinventing the wheel do tend to come up with the moral equivalent of a trapezoid with an offset axle.
[Jargon File]
(1997-04-12)
reinvent the wheel
Do something again, from the beginning, especially in a needless or inefficient effort, as in School committees need not reinvent the wheel every time they try to improve the curriculum. This expression alludes to the invention of a simple but very important device that requires no improvement. [ Second half of 1900s ]

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