Exercise 5 of 10
Try to determine this proverb’s function, frame, and finish.
Expand each section by clicking the “+” to see how well you did.
“A closed mouth gathers no foot.”
What is the FUNCTION of this proverb?
This is a prediction proverb, because it’s predicting a positive outcome by simply shutting one’s mouth.
What FRAME is this proverb built upon?
This is a special case where the author has created a derivative frame by cleverly combining two popular sayings: A rolling stone gathers no moss and Open mouth, insert foot. The author probably started with a comparison frame–comparing the results of choosing to speak versus holding one’s tongue.
What FINISH (or finishes) have been applied to this proverb?
This proverb has 2 finishes:
1) Wordplay Association: The author is playing on the relationships between body parts (mouth and foot).
2) Wordplay opposite: While the opposite words, open and closed do not both appear in this proverb together, their relationship is implied by the fact that people understand the reference.
EXTRA CREDIT: What METAPHOR is this proverb built upon?
The proverb is built upon the metaphor: Mouth is speech.