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Home :: Archive :: 2000 :: April ::
Re: Cliches
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 11.0854  Wednesday, 19 April 2000.

[1]     From:   Carol A Cole <
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        Date:   Tuesday, 18 Apr 2000 11:16:34 -0400 (EDT)
        Subj:   towing the line

[2]     From:   Jim Lusardi <
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        Date:   Tuesday, 18 Apr 2000 13:43:35 -0400
        Subj:   Abuse of Cliches


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Carol A Cole <
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Date:           Tuesday, 18 Apr 2000 11:16:34 -0400 (EDT)
Subject:        towing the line

Terry Hawkes asks:

What on earth is 'towing the line'? Is it something that 'morays' do?

To toe (not tow) the line is "to conform rigorously to a rule or
standard," as in not crossing it, hence someone's rather jaded remark
that toeing the line is what academics do.  Not sure what that says
about our mores.

Sigh.

Carol

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Jim Lusardi <
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Date:           Tuesday, 18 Apr 2000 13:43:35 -0400
Subject:        Abuse of Cliches

In George Orwell's great essay "Politics and the English Language,"
there is a section on "Dying metaphors."  It reads in part:  "Some
metaphors now current have been twisted out of their original meaning
without those who use them ever being aware of the fact.  For example,
<toe the line> is sometimes written <tow the line>."  He suggests that
writers should "avoid perverting the original phrase."

Jim Lusardi
 

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