Sunday, June 12, 2016

The New York Times Crucible Watch, Final Edition

Today's New York Times carries an editorial with the title "The GOP's Latino Crucible." I think that somebody must have reached for "quandary" and come up with "crucible", for I can think of no sense in which the situation discussed in the editorial can be said to be a crucible. The Republican Party's relation to the Latino residents of the US might be said to be a test that will separate the base from the better metal, which test could involve a crucible; but this metaphor is not followed up and to my eye is not even implicitly present. The Republican Party is not, according to this editorial, serving as a melting pot.

I found it odd enough when Times book review headlines included "forged in a crucible" or "bred in a crucible".  But apparently now the word has lost any relation to its original meaning, and may be attached to any sort of difficulty. I see no use in complaining further.

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