too much typing—since 2003


Phrase of the Day

In a review of Camille Paglia's new book interpreting poetry (shudder), Lee Siegel writes the following:

Resurrecting the patented alarmist language of Allan Bloom and all those culture warriors who marched across our television screens in the late 1980s and '90s - and in doing so created a cultural distraction while the right wing stole American politics - Paglia has exhumed a dead herring.

"Exhumed a dead herring": I love it. I understood what it meant instantly, even though it's a portmanteau of at least two common phrases: "red herring" of course, with its suggestion of a false clue, a distraction; and "beating a dead horse," hyperbolized through the horse having already been buried before being dug up for another go-round.

I think more things should be described as "exhuming a dead herring." Use it daily. Thank you.

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