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these funny idioms French people use # 015 (when idioms can be false friends too)

November 1, 2010
We don’t bring grist to someone’s mill, but water to his/her mill.
But this similitude between the two idioms is shallow only. If I tell you that you brought water to my mill, I specifically want to underline that you worked against your own side, and obviously against your own will (see this post on two frogs in B’ham for an example). I believe this is partly because bringing water to one’s mill regards only debate and arguments. Bringing water to one’s mill, you don’t bring a skill or whatever concrete thing that could prove itself useful. Doing so you only bring an argument to a discussion, and because the French is stubborn by essence, s/he will think to how this argument can be opposed which will allow the development of a counter-argumentation. It’s very bad behaviour, I know, but you’ll admit it’s good for developing your critical thinking… (see we just can’t help trying to have the last word).
Therefore bringing water to one’s mill is somewhat just allowing the existence of the confirmation bias.

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