March 06, 2004

A Zombie Metaphor

[UPDATE, April 3, 2004: Hi to everyone coming over from Belle's wonderful "And a Pony" post. This post of mine is really awfully cheap nitpicking, isn't it? Please head to my main page, where you can usually find nitpicking of a much higher order. If you'd like to help me out a bit, you can give me your opinion on this question. And the bit after the asterisk here was supposed to be funny, but I can't remember why.]

In this post by Belle Waring, Adam Kotsko describes some views* as "pipe dreams." Whereupon Carlos replies "that must be a *crack* pipe."

Well, as I understand it, "pipe dreams" originally comes from dreams inspired by the opium pipe. But no one thinks of opium anymore when they hear "pipe dreams." So with Carlos' remark the very same metaphor rises from the grave, shaking off the shrounds of idiomaticity, heads downtown and finds out what the new drug is.

*I'm not saying which, because I'm trying to keep my own political views close to my chest. This is a purely linguistic point, and if some of you click the link and absorb some political commentary that's got nothing to do with me.

Posted by Matt Weiner at March 6, 2004 11:35 AM