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A.Word.A.Day--tin ear

Pronunciation RealAudio

tin ear (tin eer) noun

1. Insensitivity to differences in music or speech sounds.

2. Inability to appreciate subtle differences in a particular discipline.

[From the idea of metal being incapable of sensation.]

"For an ex-steelworker, Doug Cameron has a tin ear. He seems deaf to the motif of the times. If you listen to Cameron - national secretary of the Australian Manufacturing Union - you'd think Qantas is a certain winner in the only market that matters: domestic."
Turbulence Ahead For the Airlines; The Australian (Sydney); Oct 24, 2001.

"Lloyd Ward's credibility is now under siege. Previously, he had drawn criticism for failing to disclose that he was a member of Augusta National Golf Club, which prohibits women from becoming members, a policy in direct contradiction with the Olympic movement. While Olympic committee volunteers have shown poor management skills, management types have had a tin ear for effectively running a sports union."
Jere Longman; Professionalism Eludes U.S. Olympic Committee; The New York Times; Jan 26, 2003.

This week's theme: metallic words used as metaphors.


He who has imagination without learning has wings and no feet. -Joseph Joubert, essayist (1754-1824)

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