Quote: “It’s hard out here for a lobbyist.” Emily Yoffe, “Human Guinea Pig” column in Slate.
Figure of Speech: anastrophe (an-ASS-tro-phee), the word-order switch.
How quickly a pop-culture phrase becomes a cliché. Many of us suffered through “close encounters of the [insert witty substitution] kind.” Now we have the song“It’s hard out here for a pimp,” from the hip hop film “Hustle and Flow.” The phrase is popping up in the whitest, nerdiest places, including, uh, this blog.
The “out here” seems to be in there for purely rhythmic purposes; otherwise, what does "out" refer to? The street? Coney Island? Iraq? Plus, the phrase appears in an odd location. “Out here, it’s hard for a pimp” would be better syntax. The sentence’s unusual order makes it an anastrophe (“turning back again”), one of the more poetic figures.
Swapping “pimp” for “lobbyist," on the other hand: that seems perfectly natural.
Snappy Answer: “It’ll be harder where you’re going.”