wearing the mantlepiece

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Wed Mar 28 01:37:28 UTC 2007

At 9:14 PM -0400 3/27/07, William Salmon wrote:
>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:

Yeah, hardly seems like a conservative practice as depicted here.
Maybe we should photoshop Fred Thompson's head for the young lady's
and see if it fits.

I'm pretty sure the only kind of mantelpiece there is is indeed the
kind over the fireplace, but since that's encountered more often
(lexically) than the actual mantle (conservative or otherwise), it's
a reasonably natural reanalysis.


>>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--
>>--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
>>The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
>~Will Salmon
>The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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

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