One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
Don't risk the failure of a large project by trying to economize on trivial things.
- ‘Haggling over advisors' fees looked like a horrible case of spoiling the ship for the sake of a ha'p'orth of tar.’
- ‘It does seem to me that being nonnuclear will blunt the ship's capabilities more than a little, because its commander will always be concerned about where the next tank of fuel is coming from; is this a modern example of spoiling the ship for a ha'p'orth of tar?’
- ‘Value engineering is a slippery word for reducing the specification. We do not want to spoil the ship for a ha'p'orth of tar.’
- ‘At £1.5 million it's not exactly spoiling the ship for a ha'p'orth of tar is it?’
- ‘I reckon that at least 30 new modern bins, strategically placed, are needed to avoid future complaints. Come on council, don't spoil the ship for a ha'p'orth of tar!’
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