Fortune Cookies, May 2024

Another fortune from the local strip mall Chinese restaurant.

fortune cookie fortune

Advice, when most needed, is least heeded

This puts me in mind of an old auto racer saying:

Experience is what you get after you need it.

This last one is pungent because it’s in English. The final word “it” refers back to the first word in the sentence, “experience”. I kind of doubt many other languages can do that kind of back referencing. Even in English, it has an air of garden path sentence I think because the “object” phrase contains the pronoun referring to a word not in the object phrase.

The fortune also works because it’s in English. Most obviously, “needed” and “heeded” rhyme. Even though the fortune is supposed to invoke Asian mysticism, it wouldn’t be hard hitting in languages without the rhyme.