Never try to teach a pig to sing; it wastes your time and it annoys the pig.

April 28th, 2008 by Will Scott

Midjourney image of "Never Try to Teach A Pig to Sing" - wide

Robert Heinlein –…/218581.html

Inspired to look this up based on a conversation with a client – she was talking about discussing marketing with her husband and that it was a frustrating experience for both of them.

Robert A. Heinlein’s statement about not trying to teach a pig to sing is an analogy for never attempting something which is impossible or futile. In other words, don’t waste your time and energy on something that has no chance of success. This same sentiment can be found in other popular sayings, such as “Don’t try to fit a square peg in a round hole,” or “Don’t try to push a rope.” All of these phrases suggest that some tasks are simply not achievable and attempting them is a waste of time and resources.

The notion of “teaching a pig to sing” carries a particularly strong meaning because pigs are known for their loud and distinct grunts, which are very different from human singing. Therefore, it is impossible to teach a pig to sing because pigs simply cannot produce the sounds required for singing. This makes the analogy even more powerful, as it emphasizes the point that some tasks are simply impossible and should not be attempted.

Robert A. Heinlein’s statement can be seen as a warning to individuals not to attempt the impossible or to waste their time and energy on tasks that are not achievable. By making this analogy, he is reminding people to recognize when they are taking on a task that is beyond their capabilities. This is an important lesson that can be applied to a variety of scenarios, from personal relationships to professional endeavors.