Monday, April 30, 2012

A Metallurgical Metaphor

Today's NY Times has a review of Robert Caro's latest volume, headlined "A Nation's Best and Worst, Forged in a Crucible" (page C1) and "A Nation's Best and Worst, Forged in a Crucible of Presidential Assassination" (C6).

Forging in crucible sounds like a messy business, likely subject to breakage, spills, and splashing. Perhaps, though, the crucible is the only tool of metalworking that the copy editors have heard of. And what a "Crucible of Presidential Assassination" might be, I can't guess; maybe somebody's ear matched "crucible" with "crisis".

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