Have my cake and eat it too
“Didn't Marie Antoinette say that once?”
A common and idiotic phrase often overused in the English language, "have your cake and eat it too" (hereafter known as HYCAEIT) has caused a great amount of confusion regarding both in its basic semantics and continued use.
It is thought that HYCAEIT came in some way from the French Revolution and Marie Antoinette's "let them eat cake (and have it too)," but this explanation would be entirely too easy and not nearly humourous enough for this entry. Either way, it actually makes sense if you say it that way.
No. Instead, HYCAEIT came from a time when German, English, and the language of furry penguins was mixed and the having of cake came temporally mentally before the eating of the cake, but linguistically the eating following the having.
Oscar Wilde on Changes Over Time
Over time the English language has changed (as languages do). Regrettably, HYCAEIT has not changed and now insults the intelligence of the user every time it is uttered. The change that has triggered this is the change in perceived temporality (to see an article on mom's being late to soccer practice, click here). That is, speakers became lazy and could no longer handle linguistic information where the second part of the information came before the first part in reality but after the first part linguistically (1. I got there 2. after she arrived).
Because of the linguistic changes in English, the phrase HYCAEIT is rendered absolutely ridiculous. For, the temporal act of having would of course preceed the act of eating. That is, one would not have a piece of cake unless one intended to eat it. This meaning seems to be lost on the general public and many English speakers go about with this phrase on their lips not understanding the interminable nonsense they now make.
Future Changes to Ensure the Survival of HYCAEIT
If the phrase HYCAEIT desires to survive, or if those unfortunates that still use the phrase wish for it to survive, it is suggested that they reverse the order of the eating and the having: "Eat your cake and have it too." As can be seen, when the temporal linguistic order of events matches the real temporal order of events the phrase makes sense: you cannot expect to have your cake after you have eaten it. Most linguists (and other self-appointed Scottish experts on the English language) do not think that HYCAEIT will survive into 2050 if the phrase is not altered from its current form.