Thursday, 20 November 2014

Put out the wrong way

There's an incredibly useful Finnish phrase which I'd really need in other languages too, but it doesn't exist, as far as I can tell.

Here it goes: "put out the wrong way" ("väärin sammutettu") as in, the fire was put out but it was done the wrong way. It is used for mocking a situation where someone cannot legitimately criticize the end result but they criticize the process instead.

The story behind is that a fire brigade is pissed off because a volunteer fire brigade got to the scene first and put out the fire. The real fire brigade arrives and the chief says that the volunteers did put out the fire, but they did it the wrong way.

In everyday life, it can be used like this:

"Isn't this cake delicious?"
"Well yes, but did you really need to use all three bowls for making it?"
"... put out the wrong way."

It's especially useful in kitchens since there are many ways to cook, and the taste should matter more than how the cooking was done.

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