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Why is the expression " Speak of the devil " and not " Speaking of the devil "? For example, if you're talking about something, and that subject made you remember something else, you would say something like:. The proper use of the phrase "speak of the devil" is not in the context of remembering something or one thing reminding you of something else. That kind of context is where you might say "speaking of groceries" as in your example.

The proper use of "speak of the devil" is when you are speaking about someone - usually having something bad to say or some kind of gossip when that person suddenly comes into earshot. This is appropriate insofar as "speak of the devil" is short for "speak of the devil and he will appear" as was pointed out by Jeff. It can also be used ironically in a situation where a person joins you in mid conversation, even if this person was not the subject of the conversation.

It is an often good-natured jibe on the premise that you may have been gossiping about the person or that you are comparing them to the devil. In this case, "Speak of the devil Note that "do something" is an infinitive in the "[Do something] and [something will happen]". A similar construction replaces "and" with "or" to mean "if you don't do something, something will happen":.

Note that "Speaking of groceries, I have to go to the supermarket in an hour. So in essence, the idiom means that speaking of e.

Speak of the Devil (Speak of the Devil, #1) by Shawna Romkey

Language meaning changes over time so quoting years back or more is not all that useful although you could win on Jeopardy. It's used so casually now that it has no real meaning other than that. It's similar to people saying "How yah doing" as there is no point of putting a question mark after it. That literally means "hi" now and you don't expect someone to actually answer. As a side note It's a hodgepodge of languages at this point. Only a small fraction of society actually remembers the rules and those are usually copy writers and patent lawyers.

speak of the devil

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