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And he respects Owl, because you can't help respecting anybody who can spell TUESDAY, even if he doesn't spell it right; but spelling isn't everything. There are days when spelling Tuesday simply doesn't count.

The House at Pooh Corner, A. A. Milne.

What does this quote mean?

closed as unclear what you're asking by snailcar, starsplusplus, user3169, jimsug, user2492 May 25 '14 at 1:17

Please clarify your specific problem or add additional details to highlight exactly what you need. As it's currently written, it’s hard to tell exactly what you're asking. See the How to Ask page for help clarifying this question. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

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    I wonder why this quote is esoteric. – user3169 May 23 '14 at 2:28
  • it is esoteric. The answer says it all! – Maulik V May 23 '14 at 5:57
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    You have no reason to take this out of context when asking your question. Do not do so. "And he respects Owl, because you can't help respecting anybody who can spell TUESDAY, even if he doesn't spell it right; but spelling isn't everything. There are days when spelling Tuesday simply doesn't count." - The House at Pooh Corner, A. A. Milne. – snailcar May 24 '14 at 12:52
  • I've edited it to include the proper quote, but I've also VTC as you need to identify which part of the text is causing you the problem. Just proofreading the whole thing is off-topic here. – starsplusplus May 24 '14 at 14:29
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It is a reference to "Winnie the Pooh", a highly regarded children's book, by A. A. Milne.

Owl is the most learned creature in the Hundred Acre Wood, since he knows how to spell (although badly, he spells his own name WOL). He also doesn't know how to spell TUESDAY correctly, but since none of the other animals can either, and at least he can distinguish it from WEDNESDAY, this is thought to be quite an accomplishment.

(As an idiomatic expression it would equivalent to "one must respect someone who can do something you can't, even if they might do it badly").

  • So it is saying "any person who can spell Tuesday is worthy of respect. Thats why he respects Owl" – user2492 May 23 '14 at 0:46
  • @user10395 Yes. Additionally, the construction can't help indicates that he is forced to respect Owl (or anyone else who can spell Tuesday), not that he merely chooses to. – Esoteric Screen Name May 23 '14 at 1:43