2009-09-11

He Strode Like A Colossus.



It would appear that I'm being annoyed by popular idioms this week.  I've just watched the first part of the BBC series, The Love of Money.  In it, the narrator describes Richard Fuld, the former CEO of Lehman Brothers, as having "strode like a colossus on Wall Street" before the collapse of his bank.  I know the origin of this phrase.  In  Julius Caesar, Shakespeare wrote:

Why, man, he doth bestride the narrow world
Like a Colossus, and we petty men
Walk under his huge legs and peep about
To find ourselves dishonourable graves.
Men at some time are masters of their fates:
The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars,
But in ourselves, that we are underlings.



Shakespeare writes that The Colossus is bestride the narrow world.  That's logical, the picture on the right depicts The Colossus of Rhodes  (one of the seven wonders of the ancient world) standing bestride the entrance to the harbour at Rhodes.


What the Colossus of Rhodes did not do, is stride.  The Colossus of Rhodes did not stride because it is a statue and cannot walk.  You can "stand as a still as a colossus"; you cannot "stride like a colossus".  You can have "stood, impassive, immobile as a colossus"; you cannot have "strode like a colossus".

Rant over, I'm going to go down the stairs like a dalek, and cook dinner like a hovercraft now.

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2 comments:

Leslie Lim said...

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Rica
www.imarksweb.org

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