I just came across this Philippine's saying "not all that is black is charcoal". How do you "read" it?
My first thought is that it's along the lines of the more well known, "All that glitters is not gold." That one focuses on the value of the gold. So, I'd suppose the black/charcoal thing is a way of pointing out that stuff that's the same color isn't always the same stuff/material - but without the matter/message that involves something of value versus something that just "glitters".
Of course, I see charcoal as a neutral thing (not thinking about value or lack of it to anyone). If someone (for some reason) places high value or little value on charcoal, then the saying could mean more than just "not everything that's one color is the same stuff" and, instead, could be a kind of clumsy way of trying to make use of the "all that glitters"... (value) thing in a different way/from a different kind of angle.
Then again, charcoal is not technically (or most commonly) considered, "black". There is the name for the color, "charcoal grey". And, there's charcoal used in artwork versus, say, black crayon or paint or pastels (whatever) ; but I'd assume if it's well recognized "Philippine saying" it may not have roots in something as field-specific as art or colors for any number of things.
The all-that-glitters thing works because gold is generally/universally accepted as having value. If the "black/charcoal" thing suggests anything about value/lack of it; someone would have to know if charcoal is widely considered a good or bad thing in the Philippines and/ or in Philippine history (which I don't happen to know, and won't be looking up on this Saturday morning as I'm just online "doing nothing".)
The proverb "Not all that is black is charcoal" means:
Don't group one thing just because it looks like another.
I was and am stumped. However after reading your version of this proverb WordCrafter09 these ideas started. I began thinking of our barbeques and our coal industry.
Charcoal is the result of something being burnt out of existence. Something altered from a "thing" into "nothing"-dust. However if we saw charcoal in the state of glowing embers it could represent a state of burning within us. A desire to complete. Then I move to the passionate side within us. The embers are "glowing and warming".
With that said this saying could be talking about a warm desire or passion. Or the presence of a conversion or rebirth happening within oneself or another. As charcoal is the conversion product of fire.
Thats my take without googling.
Just a fun creative exercise to share with one another.
You're obviously far more creative than I am. The coal industry was pretty much what occurred to me, but that was kind of it. I've learned to be at peace with my lack of creativity.
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