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    Thar He Blows!

    moby_rove.jpgQuote:  “I realize that some of the Democrats are Captain Ahab and I’m the great white whale.”  Karl Rove

    Figure of Speech:  antonomasia (an-to-no-MAY-sia), the namer.  From the Greek, meaning “name swap.”

    President Bush calls his former consigliore and spinmeister “the architect,” but Karl “Moby” Rove suggests a more colorful moniker.   Now that Rove has retired to spend more time with the proverbial family, Democrats in Congress can’t wait to subpoena the man.  What metaphorical animal comes to mind in such a situation?  Trapped tiger? Treed bear?

    Rove makes himself into a comical Leviathan, while the Democratic Party becomes a peg-legged obsessive.  The result is a disarming antonomasia — a figure that puts people in the place of well-known names.   (For other examples click here and here.)

    Melville’s Moby Dick rose from the evil depths, controlled the psyche of a chief commander, and smashed everything to hell.  If the Great White Rove continues in this vein, we’ll definitely read his memoir.

    Snappy Answer:  “Spin me Ishmael.”

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    Reader Comments (9)

    Opening sentence to Rove's memoir: "Call me Turd Blossom."
    August 15, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterBrian Backman
    And who says Bush doesn't have a way with words?
    August 16, 2007 | Registered CommenterFigaro
    B-b-b-b-but "spend time with the family" *isn't* a proverb. There's no proverb that says "better to spend time with the family than simply spending time" (ref. to prison), if there were maybe it may apply to Rove, but it isn't a proverb because it isn't a proverb so "spend time with the proverbial family" is incorrect. Isn't it?
    August 16, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterSydney J. Carton
    Sure it's a proverb.

    Once upon a time--actually, many, many times upon a time--there was a politician who, owing to venality or incompetence or both, suddenly found himself spending more time with the very family he had become a workaholic to avoid.

    One day, the ex-politician came down to breakfast and found a beautiful woman drinking coffee. "Who are you?" asked the ex-pol? "Your ex-wife," the beautiful woman answered. "I'm leaving you and taking the kids."

    The ex-pol was devastated for exactly eight seconds, and then he felt better. He now had more time for his mistress, and--after his lawyer gets through with his family--more money!

    Moral: You can spend time with your family, do time in prison, or make time with your hottie.


    August 17, 2007 | Registered CommenterFigaro
    uncle jay:

    why is there a picture of a man who looks like a whale on your website?

    August 18, 2007 | Unregistered Commenterluke
    Dear Luke,
    No, that is not your father. It is a man who worked in the White House. Ask your father to read you the wonderful book about a whale, Moby-Dick. Tell him not to read the abridged version but the long one. By the time he finishes reading it to you, you'll be old enough to read it yourself.
    August 20, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterFigaro
    Uncle Jay: Why the bile directed toward my dad in what was an honest posting from a seven-year-old who wanted to see your site? Daddy's right: You are a tool. Luke
    August 21, 2007 | Unregistered Commenterluke
    i have a strong dislike for bitterness, negativity, and name calling, but - my academic interest in the subject - keeps me reading...
    August 23, 2007 | Unregistered Commentersurfa11day
    While Figaro could never match anyone named "Surfallday" for mellowness (not to call names or anything), bitterness and negativity aren't part of our shtick.

    Though, yes, Figaro is a tool. A big, powerful tool, without any phallic symbolism whatsoever.
    August 24, 2007 | Registered CommenterFigaro

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