Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Dying metaphor of the day

It's "Main Street." As in "Main Street, not Wall Street."

The Main Streets that I know best are largely beyond help, having devolved into lonely stretches of consignment shops, pawnshops, taverns, empty storefronts, empty second-story apartments, more empty storefronts, and the occasional law office or tanning salon. The retail action has gone elsewhere.

Watching CNN today, I caught a sentence about the bailout benefiting "Elm Street." A metaphor in the making?

Related reading
All metaphor posts (Pinboard)
The dowdy world goes shopping (on Main Street, Hackensack, NJ)
Main Street (Wikipedia article)

comments: 6

Anonymous said...

According to the Genus Edition of Trivial Pursuit published in the eighties, the most common street name in America is "Oak." There are also quite a few Martin Luther King Boulevards, but that's just me lookin' around.

Love your blog, Mr. Leddy.

Michael Leddy said...

Thanks for reading and commenting, H. I'm curious to see if the Elm metaphor catches on in the news. "Mortgage Crisis: The Nightmare on Elm Street," etc.

Elaine Fine said...

Another popular American street name is "Division Street."

Michael Leddy said...

And the metaphor behind Studs Terkel's book Division Street: America.

macon d said...

I hear "bailout package" is falling out of favor as a metaphor too. Literalism is suddenly more in favor, and polls suggest that the favorite substitutes are "save-the-fatcats package" and "eat-the-poor package." Which will gain more favor? Division Street denizens await a decision. Breathlessly.

Michael Leddy said...

Now there's also "recovery plan," which has spooky Depression-era overtones, at least to my ears.