There is a common saying in Turkey “Yavaş, yavaş,” pronounced “yavash, yavash,” which, when translated directly, comes out as “slowly by slowly.” At first, I thought that this phrase was appropriate for use during a careening ride with my husband through Istanbul, but he disabused me of this notion, saying “it is more a way of life than a direction for a driver to chill on the gas pedal!” I thought about it some more, sure in my etymological superiority that my husband’s pretty good but not great English was the meaning of its intent. Over the years, I stopped trying to correct the round peg of yavaş yavaş into the square whole English language concept of “little by little.” My husband would always say the same thing, explaining “that takes the true meaning out of it, bleaches it like clothes under the Aegean sun for too long so you lose the color.”
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