Common Sense

Meanings of “Common Sense”

The phrase “common sense” means a common way of judging things and declaring them correct, appropriate, or suitable for the existing solutions of issues. It also means a practical judgment, or in other words, simple matter-of-factness.

Origin of “Common Sense”

The phrase “common sense” is stated to have originated as back as in the 14th century and has been in use since then. However, its published popular use was made by Thomas Paine when he penned down a pamphlet, Common Sense, in 1776. Since then, the phrase has become very popular as a replacement for common judgment.

Examples in Literature

Example #1

Universal Love Samuel Lombardo

The definition that is
always misconstrued
with three levels of Love.
Sounds to me that
with different meanings
and no commonsense
it does not take brain surgeon
to diagnose the convict here.

The poet states that when a person defines things on three different levels, it means that there is something wrong with that person to whom the poet has called “the convict.” The phrase common sense has been used in its literal sense though joined with a hyphen.

Example #2

Common Sense by Charles Hughes Terrot

I have no genius. Though I make no doubt,
Sage reader, thou would’st soon have found this out:
I tell thee, lest thou waste thy precious time
In seeking here for aught but sense and rhyme
Plain common sense; but no ecstatic feats,
And rhymes at least as good as Mister Keates’*.
Time was when bards were few: then might you see
In Button’s room the whole fraternity;
But now, like Egypt’s frogs, on every hand
They spread and croak and darken all the land:

The poem, though, seems very funny, has a beautiful lesson in that it clearly states that the poet wants to dispel the skepticism of his readers, saying that his poem comprises only “sense and rhyme” and not imagination. The name of Keats with Mister shows the latent irony of the poet against Romanticism. However, the phrase has its literal meanings throughout the poem which is bedecked with several other devices such as metaphors and similes as shown in the last three lines.

Example #3

Common Sense by Joshua Bassett

Common sense told me she was not worthwhile
Common sense said don’t go the extra mile
Common sense said go back and reconcile
But common sense forgot about her smile

The poet gives indirect meanings it this phrase that it has told, taught, and advised him different things at different occasions; advising about his would-be better half, the teaching of not running too much, and not looking back at the old love. However, he states that despite this, common sense forgot to advise him about the lovely smile of his beloved. The phrase shows the use of personification as common sense has been personified as his advisor.

Example #4

Common Sense by Thomas Paine

Although it is a simple pamphlet by Thomas Paine written as back as 1775, it supports the American colonies of that time to win independence from the United Kingdom. The total number of colonies was 13. His actual purpose has been to persuade the colonial managers and political stooges to be ready to win independence for the separate homelands by joining hands. The write-up is not only cohesive but also very clear. Therefore, it is an extended metaphor of common sense.

Example in Sentences

Example #1: “Why don’t you use your common sense? Willie’s father yelled at him for breaking the blender.”

Example #2: “When most of the people cannot come up to any plausible explanation of their actions, they often state that it is just common sense. However, his method is somewhat different from others, for he does not go to this root; rather, he finds the things that back up his claim, instead of seeking assistance from common sense.”

Example #3: “When he is told that his crying and wailing will not work, he resorts to common sense approach. He tries to ask somebody to be his witness and make him stand on his own but fails. Then he reverts to trying to convince them that is the son of a reliable landowner, but it too failed.”

Example #4: After hearing arguments, he only stated that his friend, Jon Webster is not worth the salt, the reason that his argument could not be correct if based on common sense.”

Example #5: “Nathan is quite intelligent and uses his common sense while taking important decisions.”