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Rue The Day

Oh yes, they will rue the day that they ever made that bad decision.


An old an archaic expression it may be, but nevertheless quite popular even on the Internet.

The word "Rue" is to do with sorrow, distress, repentance and regret. The expression to "rue the day" means to feel sorry and sorrowful and to regret deeply that day, with an idea of "oh, if only it could be undone".

The word "Rue" also refers to a particular type of plant which is bitter and has historically been used for medician purposes. It's got quite different derivations and isn't the same word, although it's sometimes played on as a pun.

It's also nothing to do with the French word "Rue" meaning "Road", for example "Rue Morgue".

Seldom do people actually rue the day. Instead, the expression is usually a prediction, that they WILL rue the day , sometimes regarding something they have done, and sometime on a conditional basis that they will rue the day IF something. This is also why it's usually in the future tense, rather than being a statement about the past that they rued the day.

With ruing the day, the person feels deep regret and generally blames themselves for what they did, because of the consequences which then unfolded. They feel remorse and they repent their actions.

For example, Google will rue the day it invited the government to net neutrality. This means Google will bitterly regret that it ever invited to government to be involved in "net neutrality". They'll feel regret for doing that, and they might even feel remorse.

The expression has already been used at this website, as it has been said that Hoseasons will rue the day that they excluded encylopaedic eclectic sites from their affiliate program! Whether they ended up being rueful is a matter of conjecture, but one thing's for sure: They missed out and other companies got their slice of the market.

Also, The Economist Magazine will rue the day it mocked Scotland, as the consequences of publishing a cartoon map with Scottish place names changed to hint at bankruptcy, will be that people will do various things against the magazine, such as not buying it, or at least that's what is suggested might happen.

When people go to jail, they have plenty of time to rue the day they decided to commit the crimes in the first place. Or at least that's the theory. Instead, they're more likely to be looking forward to their release so they can commit more crimes.

If there's an apocalyptic disaster, many people will rue the fact that they didn't listen to the conspiracy theorists and survivalists, although they might not have much time for much ruing, because their end might be nigh.

It's this theme of doom and sorrowfulness, regret, wishing things hadn't gone that way, and feeling one's own decisions were to blame, that runs through the whole ruing business.

To avoid having to rue the day, the thing is to think ahead about the likely consequences of your actions.


Note: It definitely is not "rule the day"!