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Shake it off or not shake it up | Entertainment

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Scott Holyfield McDowell News

Depending on the situation, “shake off” is the best or worst advice someone can give or receive.

This phrase has deep literary roots. In William Shakespeare’s The Tempest, Act I, Scene II, Prospero, ruler of the island and former Duke of Milan, complains to his daughter Miranda that the strangeness of his story has brought him “weight”. When you say it, tell it to “shake off.” she.

Taylor Swift hit it big in 2014 with the song of the same name, and players will “play, play, play, play, play” and those who don’t like it will of course “hate, hate, hate”. I told the listener to shake it off. , hate, hate.

Long before Taylor, long after Bard, my friend John and I were familiar with the term.

One recent evening, as John, an artist, philosopher and orator at one of the finest watering holes in the area, was solving the world’s problems, he told me: He gave me

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Decades ago, when he was honing his artistry, studying philosophy and conducting research, he oversaw a landscaping project at the home of a prominent doctor.

This project involves removing flowers, shrubs, and trees that are not to the liking of a prominent physician, or the wife of a prominent physician, and replacing them with flowers, shrubs, or trees that more accurately reflect the respected physician’s social status. was included. and his wealthy wife.

In other words, there was no kudzu meandering on the utility pole in this spread.

At one point in the project, John sticks his hand under a bush and stumbles upon a nest of yellow jackets. Residents reacted predictably, tearing the intruders to pieces with vengeance.

With his hand left stabbed, John thought it wise to seek advice from a prominent doctor.

“Doctor, I’ve fallen into a nest of yellow jackets and I’m allergic,” he said, and his hands kept swollen. “What should I do?”

The doctor sat in his chair, looked up from the newspaper he was reading, and said, “Shake it off.”

The phrase is often used in the sports world as advice on how to deal with injuries ranging from jammed fingers to compound fractures.

As a teenage second baseman, I once took a bad hop grounder to a bad place.

As I lay in the dirt of the infield, gasping for breath, I wondered if this would end my baseball career and the possibility of having children in the future.

The coach jogged out of the dugout and looked down at me.

“It must hurt,” he said.

He helped me get up, patted me on the back, and said, “OK, shake me off.”

Shaking anything at that point was out of the question.

After all, it wasn’t a bad hop that ended my baseball career, it was a lack of talent, and paternity continued successfully without a DNA donation.

That brings me to this week when I complained to a colleague about taking an undeserved gaff for something I had no control over.

“I’m sure it would be fun to have a lively discussion with that gentleman,” I wanted to say.

Instead, it said, “I want to punch that %$#!er %$#!ing in the face.”

Scott Holyfield

“Hey,” said my colleague. “You have to shake it off.”

he was right He may not have been a prominent doctor or well-intentioned baseball coach, but his colleague’s advice in this situation was spot on.

“I know,” I said. “Shake it off so that the person you don’t like hates, hates, hates, hates, hates. I think it was Shakespeare who said that.”

Scott Hollifield is an editor and humor columnist for The McDowell News in Marion, North Carolina. Please contact him at