I was typing a reply to a Plurk and after I hit the "’Enter’ key, I realised what I typed was weird and maybe plain wrong.
No gain, no pain
No pain, no gain.
What is the difference? They are all words, 4 words only. But it is the arrangement of the words which brings out the difference in the meaning.
No gain, no pain. What it implies is there will be pain as the end result of the hard work put in. What is the point of working hard if all we get is pain? It does not sound like a good deal. Negative rewards for positive work. Nah, I will pass…
No pain, no gain. This phrase implies that without putting in any effort or sacrifices into the work we are supposed to be doing, there will not be any achievements or even results. Going through great difficulties and getting rewarded in a way or another sounds like a much better deal than the above one.
One phrase offers a pessimistic view about achievement while the other is the complete opposite, offering a optimistic one. At the time of my reply to that Plurk, I was typing “No gain, no pain”. I guess I was simply too tired from work then and had a time to sustain a positive thought about work and sub-consciously, life.
What other phrases, like the 2 above, having the same words and have differing meaning?