Am I correct in saying that the meanings of the following two phrases are indeed the same? "The sky is the limit. The limit is the sky"?
The above expression (in its entirety, that is) was coined by comedian Chris Rock and was the subject of a suprisingly intense debate during this morning's ride to work. My friend is very adamant that the two phrases are inherently different and even went as far as to say that "common sense" would tell anyone that the two phrases have distinctly different meanings. Nonetheless, he could not tell me what his source of information was (again, simply attributing this absolute truth to "common sense"). A quick Google search revealed that the source in question was, in fact, comedian Chris Rock. Alas...Although I am appreciative of how the two phrases could be interpreted/understood differently by a given interlocutor, my argument was that they are not inherently (i.e. linguistically) different. When used in the context of Chris Rock's comedic sketch, the phrase was meant to convey that black people's proverbial sky (or limit) is omnipresent, while white people's proverbial sky is, in essence, limitless. I am inclined to believe that we are simply dealing with a poorly crafted metaphor here, but wanted to make sure I wasn't missing something. I figured that a 45-minute debate that essentially pertained to a linguistic question was worthy of soliciting a subjective answer from a professional linguist out there. Thank you for enlightening the novices with your thoughts!