The way my brain works, and maybe other peoples' are not like this? Is that when I read or hear the first half of an aphorism, my brain supplies the other half, such that the impression given by reading the first half is actually supplied by the second half. The first half is the signifier, and the second half is the signified.
(IOW: $foo = "bar" and when I read "foo" I don't think "foo", I think "bar".)
(Also, when I come across the second half, I generally supply the first half, but the effect is not quite as strong.)
So when I come across fic titled "The Wages of Sin" I am expecting it to be about death, and when I come across fic titled "Lie down with Wolves," I am mentally reading a fic titled 'Get up with fleas.'
And I'm not sure that this is what the authors intended, in most cases.This post also on dreamwidth ( comments)