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From the sublime to the ridiculous

From the beautiful to the silly, from great to puny. For example, They played first Bach and then an ad jingle—from the sublime to the ridiculous. The reverse, from the ridiculous to the sublime, is used with the opposite meaning. Coined by Tom Paine in The Age of Reason (1794), in which he said the two are so closely related that it is but one step from one to the other, the phrase has been often repeated in either order.


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  • From the top

    adverb phrase From the beginning: Let’s hear it again from the top [1950s+ Musicians; perhaps fr the musical instruction da capo, ”from the beginning,” literally, ”from the head”]

  • From this day forward

    Also, from this day on; from now on. Beginning today and continuing forever, as in They promised to follow instructions from this day forward, or From now on I’ll do what you say. The first rather formal expression for this concept dates from about 1500. The second was used in the past tense by Thomas […]

  • From way back

    adjective phrase Genuinely; entirely; from a long time ago: My Dad is a Yankee fan from way back (1887+) Since long ago; for a long time. For example, This painting has been in the family from way back, or We know the Smiths from way back. [ ; late 1800s ]

  • From where i sit

    adverb phrase From my point of view; according to my notion: Contrary to what Bernstein says, it is not clear that the idiot culture is taking over. From where I sit, we call the things he is fretting about ”change” (1980s+)

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