He’s not been a maverick on virtually anything that genuinely affects the things that people really talk about around their kitchen table.
- Joe Biden, speaking of John McCain during the vice presidential debate
metonymy (meh-TON-y-my), the scale-changing trope. From the Greek, meaning “name change.”
Candidate debates give Figaro the same ennui he feels watching most Super Bowls. Everybody is just so darn careful. Last night, the cliches flew like nobody’s business. The two candidates used the tired old “kitchen table” five times, for instance.
Well, Figaro is so middle-class that his kitchen is too small for a table. Still, “kitchen table” makes a legitimate, if dusty, metonymy—a trope that takes a little thing and makes it represent big things (White House = presidency; rimless glasses = bubble-headed veep candidate). In this case “kitchen table” stands for the cherished middle-class home and its internal communications.
Around the kitchen table, Sarah Palin didn’t make a complete ass of herself. Therefore, she won the debate. (The winking was creepy, though.)
Snappy Answer: He’s not such a maverick around the conference table, either.