Light travels faster than sound. This is why some people appear bright until you hear them speak.
As a folklorist, I have come to believe that no piece of folklore continues to be transmitted unless it means something - even if neither the speaker nor the audience can articulate what that meaning might be.
The study of folklore is largely the study of particular folklore genres: myth, folktale, legend, ballad, proverb, riddle, superstition, etc.
They do not merely collect texts; they must also gather data about the context and the informant and, above all, write an analysis of the items based upon the course readings and lecture material on folklore theory and method.