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josie's avatar

When people talk about "Having the Best of Both Worlds", where is the other world that they are talking about?

Asked by josie (30931points) September 27th, 2010

The best of both worlds…

The word “both” implies that there are two worlds.

I figure it is safe to assume that the world where we all live is one of those two.

So where is the other one?

Is the best of that world of the same quality as the best of this world?
Unless you were just plain greedy, why would you want the best of both worlds?
Why not be happy with the best of this world, since you know where it is?

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14 Answers

Gamrz360's avatar

Maybe there imagination or there fantasy?

JilltheTooth's avatar

I like the inter-dimensional concept of that.

wundayatta's avatar

Of course, it is a metaphor about getting the best out of two conflicting situations. Like if you were a woman who also had all the benefits of being a man. It’s the men’s world and the women’s world, and you get the best of both of them!

But you don’t want that. You want to imagine some alternate world out there in the multiverse. It is only one world in addition to ours.

So we have this world and some alternate shadow world that is somehow subtly different—or perhaps more than subtly different because it wouldn’t really matter if we had the best of both unless the other was significantly different.

So we have a significantly different world out there—and the amazing thing is that it is quite different no matter what measure you make of it. It has to be, or having the best of both worlds wouldn’t mean anything.

So the other world is very different in all measures we are interested in. If this is a man’s world, that is a woman’s world. If this is a child’s world, the other one is an adult’s world. Of course, the obverse is true, as well. Which is another strange thing about both worlds: they both have both worlds in them.

This is a man’s world and a woman’s world, And on every other measure, this is both worlds. So there is no alternate world out there. The alternate world is right here, under our feet, where it always has been.

Sorry to bust your bubble….... NOT!

jrpowell's avatar

It means that your wife has not found out about your girlfriend yet.

laureth's avatar

Some people say, for example, that a bisexual person “has the best of both worlds” – they can date a man, and they can date a woman. They get the benefits of living in the “straight world” (respectability, ability to have your straight sweetie go with you to the Army dance, parental approval, etc.) and also the benefits of the “gay world” (interesting culture, someone who knows first-hand what feels good, being part of a select, close-knit community, etc.), whereas someone who is strictly gay or strictly hetero would not have both of these things.

Otherwise, yeah, pretty much what @wundayatta says. Both “worlds” are right here.

JilltheTooth's avatar

Nope. I’m still going for the alternate Earth thing. It’s funner.

wundayatta's avatar

@JilltheTooth I beg to differ. The idea that it’s an alternate earth, except it’s really this earth—not only is that funny, but it’s ironic!

iamthemob's avatar


Austinlad's avatar

My idea of “best of both worlds” is to be able to eat all the bread and butter pudding I want without gaining an ounce.

ZEPHYRA's avatar

Where the grass really IS greener on the other side!

ucme's avatar

I usually take it to mean they want all there own way & half of yours.The bloody cheek of some folk eh!

Cruiser's avatar

Take the pool boy who will never ever earn enough money to own his own pool, but get’s to lounge and swim in the pool and rub suntan lotion on the owners hot wife!

john65pennington's avatar

Have you ever heard the phrase, “having your cake and eating it, too?” i consider this phrase to define the best of both worlds.

It’s like winning the lottery and having a new baby arrive at the same time. it’s rare for a human to be blessed in this manner, all at one time. but, if a person is fortunate enough to have two blessings at one time, then, “its got to be the best of both worlds”.

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