[Ads-l] Miscellany

Mark Mandel mark.a.mandel at GMAIL.COM
Sun Dec 30 03:18:40 UTC 2018

I must somewhat disagree about the metaphor applied to Ichabod's prayers.
ISTM that the "roof" here is the firmament that biblically separates the
earth and sea from what's above, i.e., Heaven, and the expression refers to
more-or-less literal height or altitude rather than to a quantity (as with
prices) or a usual non-quantifiable maximum (as with emotions). Unless
there's counterevidence in the rest of the poem or the letter, it's a
related but different metaphor, much closer to reality than the uses
discussed here hitherto.

Mark Mandel

On Sat, Dec 29, 2018, 4:16 AM ADSGarson O'Toole <adsgarsonotoole at gmail.com

> ...

[Begin excerpt of message sent from Bill Mullins]
> There is a fun citation for the negative metaphorical phrase in 1904:
> “never went through the roof”. A poem described an avaricious
> character named Ichabod whose tithing was inadequate: "'Twas $5 for
> him and 10 cents for the Lord". Thus, his vocalized prayers did not
> ascend from Earth to reach the ear of God. His prayers were unable to
> go up through the roof.
> Date: February 18, 1904
> Newspaper: The Evening Journal
> Newspaper Location: Ontario, Canada
> Article: A Parallel Case (Lewiston, Me. Journal)
> Quote Page 4, Column 2
> Database: Newspapers.com
> [Begin excerpt]
> His prayers were most strenuous, so were his hymns,
> As he beat doubtful time with his disengaged limbs.
> I was always impressed that the Lord stood aloof,
> And that Ichabod's prayers never went through the roof.
> [End excerpt]

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

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