Having your cake, and eating it too!

Whats the deal with the saying:

You want to have your cake, and eat it too.

Yeah, I know what it means having your way, on your terms. But the whole cake thing doesn’t make sense. Whats the point of having your cake if you can’t eat it? Am I supposed to eat sombody else’s cake?


It doesn’t mean that at all (“having your own way on your terms”). It means not wanting to make a choice between two things you can’t have or do at the same time. Do you want to have your cake, or do you want to eat it? If you eat it, you won’t have it anymore. You can’t do both.


Or as I saw it put another way: “I suppose I would like to be able to eat my cake and still have it in front of me to look at.”

“I think he said ‘Blessed are the cheesemakers.’”

Harlan Ellison on one short TV spot claimed that this phrase was one of his pet peeves. “Here!” he exclaimed, miming holding a piece of non-existent cake in his hand. “Here is my cake! I have my cake! Now” – he mimed munching on the ‘air cake’ in his hand “-- Now, I am eating my cake! I can easily have my cake, and eat it too! Now if you’d said you can’t eat your cake and have it too, then you might be able to make a case for it. But the order it’s normally phrased in is a bunch of hot air!”

Harlan Ellison is easy to tick off. :wink:

The truth, as always, is more complicated than that.

My point EXACTLY Tracer!

Its one of those Star Trek-esque causality loops!

Since Harlan has missed the point that a finished and decorated cake is lovely to behold and that the process of beginning to eat it, even a little bit of it, destroys the beauty of the whole cake, I guess we need to be annoyingly specific and wordy in our witty sayings…

“You can’t have a cake whole and uneaten and start eating it too.” or…

“You can’t eat your cake and still have it to eat.”

“Look before you leap if you don’t know where you’re going.”

“A penny saved is a penny earned, but investing it earns even more.”

“Let sleeping dogs lie unless you need to move the mutt.”
There, happy now Harlan? :wink:


A rolling stone gathers no moss. . .unless it’s wrapped in Velco hooks and is rolling on moss.

Ray (Whatever’s write.)

Actually, I suggest digital cake. It’s easier to clone. . .so that, not only you can have it “too”, but so can a bunch of others.

Ray (Well, OK, if you can’t make that work, clone software and trade it for cake.)

But what about those cookies on web pages?? No matter how many I eat, there are always more!

I don’t know who first said “everyone’s a critic,” but I think it’s a really stupid saying.