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Moriash Moreau: My Second Life
Tuesday, September 04, 2007
Tempest. Teacup.
This isn't strictly SL-related, but it seems like every time any new SL controversy comes along, someone gets it wrong.

The phrase is "a tempest in a teacup." Not "a storm in a water glass," or a "hurricane in a coffee mug," or even "a tropical depression in a champagne flute." It's "tempest in a teacup." It's alliterative. Tempest. Teacup. Sometimes, it's "teapot." I can live with that, although it's definitely not the more common usage.

"Oh," I can hear you say. "Oh, but Mori, I've heard/read it as 'a [storm synonym] in a [drinking vessel]!'" Well then you've heard it wrong!. Tempest. Teacup. That is the phrase.

Tempest. Teacup. So sayeth Mori.

Just had to get that off my chest. Thank you.
I think that's internationalization. In Dutch, the phrase is (translated) "storm in a glass of water", so I'm sure people just literally translate how they know it, rather than ding a little Googley research :P

It's just wrong.


(I don't really care overmuch. This post was an attempt at facetious irony.)
You're right, though.

TEMPEST IN A TEA POT - "This saying for 'making a big fuss over a trifle,' was first a 'a tempest in a teacup.' It has been traced back only to 1857, but is probably older. Similar early English sayings were 'storm in a wash basin' and 'a storm in a cream bowl' (1678). For that matter Cicero, as far back as 400 B.C., referred to a contemporary who 'stirred up waves in a wine ladle,' and he indicated that the expression was ancient." "Encyclopedia of Word and Phrase Origins" by Robert Hendrickson (Facts on File, New York, 1997).

I still think the alliterative "tempest in a teacup" is the best phrasing, though. The other options just sound clumsy and wrong.
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