Less haste, more speed?

(12 Posts)
Lotster Wed 18-Nov-09 13:55:16

I have a regular spar over this saying with a friend of mine. She thinks it should be said "More haste, less speed" and I think it should be "Less haste, more speed".

The latter is what I was taught, and it makes sense to me because being hasty is a negative thing, whereas being speedy is good, surely?

I have tried to search online dictionaries and such, but get results for both versions.

Discuss if you will lovely ladies!

OP’s posts: |
poppyknot Wed 18-Nov-09 14:03:40

My mum always says "More haste, less speed". She is my pedant-in-chief so I take this version to be the one.

Sense often goes out the window with these 'well known phrase or sayings'. Sometimes the difference is regional (although I can't see it in this case.......)


Iklboo Wed 18-Nov-09 14:04:22

From 'use English.com'

Idiom: More haste, less speed

'The faster you try to do something, the more likely you are to make mistakes that make you take longer than it would had you planned it'.

edam Wed 18-Nov-09 14:04:33

I know this saying perfectly well but seeing both versions written down has confused me and now I can't remember which is right.

Think your friend is right but am not confident about it at all now. Darn you! grin

throckenholt Wed 18-Nov-09 14:05:09

more haste, less speed - means if you rush things you do them wrong and it takes longer.

So your version means the same thing too.

ShowOfHands Wed 18-Nov-09 14:08:06

Obviously you're both saying the same thing.

I have only ever heard it expressed as 'more haste, less speed' though.

Lotster Wed 18-Nov-09 14:15:43

What I think happens with this phrase then, is that some people will use my version, with the following meaning in mind: "Be less hasty and you will be more speedy"; whereas using her version means: "More haste will lead to less speed". Which totally makes sense either way!

So although she's right too, she wasn't right for the reason she argued; that haste is better than speed. Although trying to explain that willbe interesting!


OP’s posts: |
Lotster Wed 18-Nov-09 14:20:12

Actually, it would be easier to say that I saw my phrase as an intruction, whereas she saw hers as a warning.

Oh god I've bored your tits off haven't I grin

OP’s posts: |
DadInsteadofMum Thu 19-Nov-09 13:56:35

Why are only ladies allowed to reply?

Lotster Thu 19-Nov-09 18:28:21

Err, anyone can reply if they want! Are you asking because I said ladies? I suppose it was a habitual turn of phrase because I usually get all female replies as far as I know.

What did you want to add then? smile

OP’s posts: |
BecauseImWorthIt Thu 19-Nov-09 18:32:01

Definitely 'more haste, less speed'. Sorry.


DadInsteadofMum Fri 20-Nov-09 11:55:49

I was always told more haste less speed by teachers at school - a message I have really taken to heart these days. smile

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