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Remains on the table

Posted by Smokey Stover on July 05, 2007

In Reply to: Remains on the table posted by Smokey Stover on July 05, 2007

: : : Is this a correct saying (in quotes) and what does it mean exactly? ... the argument, advice "remains on the table"

: : The basic metaphor here is of bringing a proposal, appeal, argument or whatever to the attention of a meeting, board or assembly by laying it (imagine it as a written document) on the conference table. If the matter "remains on the table" it means it has neither been fully accepted or rejected (in which case it could be removed and filed away) but has still to be dealt with. (VSD)

: In general, something that remains on the table remains under consideration. This probably DOES derive from British parliamentary pratice. In the U.S., however, to lay a motion on the table means to postpone it. The motion laid on the table can be said to have been tabled. It is re-opened for consideration by taking it off the table. Another example of two nations divided by a common language.

It's easy to think of the people involved sitting around a table, upon which is the matter under discussion, which remains on the table until someone decides something.