Monday, 24 December 2012

I'd like to apologise ahead of this post.
I'd like to...
This is going to be another language gripe. Hence the non-apology.

A genuine apology to Lily though, for turning part of an email conversation into a blog post.

Today's whine is about the phrase, 'Elephant in the room'.
Although I understand it's meaning and it's origin, I feel that it's far too abstract. Especially to warrant it's current popularity.

An elephant is just a large thing that it would be hard to ignore, in the suggested place. It would be possible to substitute elephant with anything of great size and the phrase would retain just as much relevance.
We may as well be using the phrase, 'Everybody's ignoring the big thing in the room'.
Please refer to some suggestions below;

Everybody's ignoring the buffalo on the barbecue.
Everybody's ignoring the battleship in the duck pond.
Everybody's ignoring the spaceship on the roof
Everybody's ignoring the rocket ship in the garden
Everybody's ignoring the blue whale in the armchair.
The later being my personal favourite.

If you're the sort of person who uses the elephant in the room phrase, I'd like to take this opportunity to encourage you to try blue whale in the armchair instead.
I think if we all start using my version, we could ease the elephant out of the room!

Alternatively, I could just be ignoring the blue whale in the armchair, that I'm far too easily aggravated by issues of complete unimportance!

You decide


  1. okay... bordering on obsession now, though everybody's ignoring the buffalo on the barbecue, is my personal favourite.

    Reminds of an episode where the guy says, "Is everybody going to keep ignoring the elephant in the room? Whilst in the corner of the living room, there's was an actual huge papier mache elephant in the was funnier than it sounds.

  2. Hey Lily,

    I know, I know.
    You've known me long enough to know that, it's the little things in life that drive me crazy.
    I'll leave all the world changing, life threatening stuff to everybody else.
    In the words of Dirty Harry, 'A man's gotta know his limitations'