wearing the mantlepiece

William Salmon william.salmon at YALE.EDU
Wed Mar 28 01:14:09 UTC 2007

Strange. There are plenty of relevant hits for "the conservative mantle"

I'd always thought of "mantlepiece" as refering to the wooden frame
around a fire place. In that case, wearing the mantlepiece would
conjure an image like that of a yoked ox. Or maybe like this one:

> Tonight on CNN around an hour ago a report on the ascendancy of Fred
> Thompson, who has rocketed up in the polls for Republican
> presidential candidates, although not yet announced, apparently on
> the strength of his tough prosecutorial expertise as DA on "Law and
> Order", along with his opposition to gun control, abortion, and
> same-sex marriage.  The reporter explained that his climb in the
> numbers was partly attributable to the fact that nobody else had
> taken the conservative mantlepiece.
> I checked the wikipedia entry on mantle-wearing--
> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mantle
> --and while many capes are featured, there was nary a mantelpiece in
> sight.  Very odd.
> (Actually, on reflection, the verb might not have been "take" but
> "hold the conservative mantelpiece"--but its object was definitely
> "the conservative mantelpiece", which curiously has no google hits
> yet.)
> LH
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

~Will Salmon

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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