(απλό σαν) το αβγό του Κολόμβου = it's simple when you know how!, it's easy when you know how / once you think of it

nickel

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Την έκφραση την ακούμε από μικροί και πιστεύω ότι μας εξηγούν κάποια στιγμή και την προέλευσή της. Στη Wikipedia έχει και λεπτομέρειες:

The Columbus story may have originated with Italian historian and traveler Benzoni. In his book History of the New World [(Historia del Mondo Nuovo)], published in 1565, he wrote (το απόσπασμα από τη μετάφραση που βρήκα στα Google Books — βλ. συνημμένο):

It will not be out of place to relate what I heard happened in Spain to Columbus, after he had discovered the Indies; although it had been done in ancient times in other ways, but was new then. Columbus being at a party with many noble Spaniards, where, as was customary, the subject of conversation was the Indies: one of them undertook to say: —“Mr. Christopher, even if you had not found the Indies, we should not have been devoid of a man who would have attempted the same that you did, here in our own country of Spain, as it is full of great men clever in cosmography and literature.” Columbus said nothing in answer to these words, but having desired an egg to be brought to him, he placed it on the table saying: “Gentlemen, I will lay a wager with any of you, that you will not make this egg stand up as I will, naked and without anything at all.” They all tried, and no one succeeded in making it stand up. When the egg came round to the hands of Columbus, by beating it down on the table he fixed it, having thus crushed a little of one end; wherefore all remained confused, understanding what he would have said: that after the deed is done, everybody knows how to do it; that they ought first to have sought for the Indies, and not laugh at him who had sought for it first, while they for some time had been laughing, and wondered at it as an impossibility.

Είναι ωστόσο αλήθεια ότι αμφισβητείται η εγκυρότητα της ιστορίας, αφού το εύρημα με το αβγό είχε ήδη αποδοθεί από τον Βαζάρι (στους Βίους του) στον Ιταλό αρχιτέκτονα Φίλιππο Μπρουνελέσκι. Μήπως θα έπρεπε λοιπόν να λέμε ότι «ήταν απλό, σαν το αβγό του Μπρουνελέσκι»; (βλ. W)

Πάντως, η έκφραση as simple as the egg of Columbus δεν είναι καθόλου διαδεδομένη στα αγγλικά και πιο πιθανό είναι να την πήραμε από τα γαλλικά ή τα ιταλικά (come l’uovo di Colombo). Στο γαλλοαγγλικό Robert διαβάζω: c’est comme l'œuf de Colomb (, il fallait y penser) = it's simple when you know how!, it's easy once you think of it.

Συχνά το χρησιμοποιούμε αγνοώντας τη διάσταση της ιστορίας με τον Κολόμβο, για να πούμε ότι κάτι είναι πολύ απλό, οπότε θα ταίριαζε κάτι σαν το it’s as simple as ABC.
 

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