Posted by Ncr on December 27, 2003
In Reply to: Caesars Wife and the driven snow posted by Fred on December 27, 2003
: : : I think the fuller phrase is "as pure as the wind-driven snow." I think that takes care of the particulates. ;)
: : I contend that 'wind-' is superfluous and detracts from the phrase.
: "Caesar's wife must be above suspicion," are the words attributed to Julius Caesar by Plutarch.
: : Caesars wife and the driven snow share an attribute -- purity. As I look at the tops of the mountains to the west of Palm Springs, the phrase 'Pure as the driven snow' comes to mind. This phrase obviously came into being before the era of lots of particulates in the air, although the coal fed economy of England certainly must have produced some strange snow in the early part of the Industrial Revolution. There were tales about gray snow in the iron processing areas of Pittsburg when I lived there years ago. I can remember it melting into a gray mess pretty quickly.
: : What are other phrases in English which suggest an attribute without direct referral to that attribute?
: cold as a titmouse on a pump handle