Never Cut The Nose To Spite The Face

Posted by M ws On Monday, July 9, 2012 1 comments
According to Wikipedia:

"Cutting off the nose to spite the face" is an expression used to describe a needlessly self-destructive over-reaction to a problem: "Don't cut off your nose to spite your face" is a warning against acting out of pique, or against pursuing revenge in a way that would damage oneself more than the object of one's anger.
The phrase is known to have been used in the 12th century. It may be associated with the numerous legends of pious women disfiguring themselves in order to protect their virginity. These cases include Saint Eusebia, Saint Ebba, Saint Oda of Hainault and Saint Margaret of Hungary.

The most famous[citation needed] of these cases was that of Aebbe the Younger, the Mother Superior of the monastery of Coldingham. In 867 AD, Viking pirates from Zealand and Uppsala landed in Scotland. When news of the raid reached Saint Ebba, she gathered her nuns together and urged them to disfigure themselves, so that they might be unappealing to the Vikings. In this way, they hoped to protect their chastity. She demonstrated this by cutting off her nose and upper lip, and the nuns proceeded to do the same. The Viking raiders were so disgusted that they burned the entire building to the ground.

The expression has since become a blanket term for (often unwise) self-destructive actions motivated purely by anger or desire for revenge. For example, if a man was angered by his wife, he might burn down their house to punish her; however, burning down her house would also mean burning down his, along with all their combustible personal possessions.

In the 1796 edition of Grose's Classical Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue, "He cut off his nose to be revenged of his face." is defined as "one who, to be revenged on his neighbour, has materially injured himself." The word "spite" is used in the sense of revenge and "face" is used in the sense of honor.


Of late, it seems that class, elegance and good public relations tactics are seemingly in a state of want when we look at what some bloopers made by some political leaders.

It is quite shocking that in an attempt to ward off 'attacks' from their enemies, some cut the nose to spite the face. The lack of foresight and wisdom prevented them from seeing the ramifications of their words of defence. READ THIS.

Even a leader's written response to one particular MSM as published in another site has a mechanical error in the second sentence of the third paragraph. A rush job?
The recent debate revealed even another PR disaster.

Seriously, it appears that some are reacting emotionally rather than taking the bull by the horns and calling a spade a spade. If there are accusations, either admit or deny FIRMLY rather than exacerbating the situation by indulging in personal attacks.

It appears that those who have been in the limelight the past few days need to engage the rakyat in more intelligent terms.

The following articles would better acquaint us of the steps and strategies that they should have taken instead of all the drama-rama ruckus which leaves a bad taste in our mouths.

1. How to Counter the Reporter Ambush

2. Preparing for Damage Control

3. The  Three C's of Credibility

4. The Case for a Reputation Protection Model

5. The Truth About PR Disasters

6. The 15 Biggest PR Disasters of the Decade

7. Learning from past PR Crises

8. Risk Issues and Crises Management

If those involved do not assess and contain the collateral damage, it is likely that the current Public Relations debacle may affect them negatively in the coming elections. Some examples would be the ongoing critiques of Bulletin Mutiara and how development in Penang that may not seem to be people-centric. We must not forget the bonanza articles in The Sunday Star about Penang.

People choose what they want to believe in based on their perceptions of the problems.

If issues are poorly handled such as when parties involved shoot anything from their mouths that end up shooting themselves in the foot, who is at fault? Hence, this is a major Public Relations crisis that some are facing.

Hopefully, they will come down from their ivory tower and connect with the rakyat!

1 comments to Never Cut The Nose To Spite The Face

  1. says:

    cin2tan Dun cut off the toes to suit the 80% discounted cum imported crocodile skinned boots !!

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