Wanting the Impossible

When we encounter someone who is being unreasonable in their requests of either what they want us to do or what they want we utter a saying, especially if we are recounting the tale to a friend.  When someone clearly wants more than what is humanly reasonable, we say:

“She wants to have her cake and eat it too.”

Well, having your cake is not such a hard thing to do nor is it unreasonable.  Eating cake you have is also quite easy and I wouldn’t thing someone who wanted to eat their cake was being a boorish oaf.

There is the fallacy of this particular saying and what we are trying to impart when we say it.  Having your cake and eating it is not only reasonable, it is firmly expected.  So what happened to the saying and where did we get it from?

The only thing that has happened is that we have mixed up the words over time and no one has thought to put them back right to make it make sense.  The original saying, when someone wanted the impossible was:

“She wants to eat her cake and have it too.”

Clearly someone who has eaten their cake cannot still have their cake.  It is gone.  It would be impossible to eat your cake and still have it and anyone who desires this is wanting the impossible to happen and being unreasonable in even requesting it.

Eaten Cake


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