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Of a different piece

Posted by Victoria S Dennis on October 12, 2008 at 10:28

In Reply to: Of a different piece posted by Smokey Stover on October 12, 2008 at 09:34:

: : I have seen the phrase "of a different piece" used to compare two related but differnt ideas. For example:
: : "Candidate X's criticism of the financial bailout was of a different piece. Unlike Candidate Z, who opposes the bailout because it does not put enough money into the system, Candidate X opposes the plan because it is provides too much to those who do not need it."
: : Questions: is this a correct use of the phrase "of a differnt piece" and does anyone have any widely published examples of this usage?
: :
: I'm too lazy to hunt down examples of this usage, but it is, or was, not uncommon. Another way of putting it might be, X's criticism of the bailout was of a different piece from that of Y.
: SS

I've never heard "of a different piece"; but I presume that it must be a reversal of a much older and commoner phrase, "(all) of a piece". This is a metaphor from cloth; two garments made from the same piece of cloth are necessarily of identical texture and colour, and will wear and fade similarly. So things that are "of a piece" are alike and consistent with each other. (VSD)