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This is a pipe

Posted by Bob on November 04, 2005

In Reply to: This is a pipe posted by Rachel on October 26, 2005

: "This is a pipe" or "it's a pipe" I couldn't find it in the archives. Obviously it means that it's simple. Some people think that it possibly comes from "pipe dream" but I thought that it might be a shortening of "lead-pipe cinch" or something. Do you have any information on this?

Sorry for the delayed response. Didn't see the question until today. There is a famous surreal painting by René Magritte that shows a pipe, and the words (in French) "This is not a pipe." And, of course, it isn't: it's a picture of a pipe. It's paint dried on a canvas reflecting light into your eyes that you reassemble in your brain and declare to be pipe-like. The map is not the territory. The word is not the thing.