lightning rod


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lightning rod

Something or someone that becomes the focus of others' criticism or blame. Primarily heard in US. The CEO became a lightning rod for criticism when his company laid off a third of its employees.
See also: lightning, rod

a lightning rod for something

mainly AMERICAN
If someone is a lightning rod for something such as anger or criticism, they are the person who is naturally blamed or criticized by people, although there are other people who are responsible. She has become a lightning rod for criticism of the administration. He told the Palermo court he was an innocent lightning rod for Italy's many crime problems. Note: You can also just call someone a lightning rod. She was the party's chief manager, star campaigner and also its lightning rod. Note: A lightning rod is a long metal strip, one end of which is fixed on the roof of a building, with the other end in the ground to protect the building from being damaged by lightning.
See also: lightning, rod, something

lightning rod

n. someone, something, or an issue that is certain to draw criticism. Why write such a boastful introduction to your book. I will just be a lightning rod for criticism.
See also: lightning, rod
References in periodicals archive ?
In Switzerland, France and Italy, popular prejudice against the lightning rod was ignited and fueled by the churches and resulted in the tearing down of lightning rods from many homes and buildings, including one from the Institute of Bologna, the leading scientific institution in Italy.
In reality, a lightning rod raises the ground from grade up to the tips of the points, or air terminals.
Every infelicity of style is to be found in its pages: redundancies ("some little idiosyncratic eccentricity of Joe's"); euphemisms ("adverse collaterals"); non sequiturs ("people who had happened to be born short through no fault of their own"); needless prefatory phrases ("in fact, of course, as it turned out ..."); amateurish frequency of underscoring ("but that was exactly what a lightning rod was supposed to do"--one of nine examples on a single page); and those word repetitions that were the bane of Flaubert ("the funny thing was that he just thought it was funny to begin with").
Not to be left out of the benefits are the "lightning rod" women.
This interesting collection of essays examines the scientific and cultural significance of the lightning rod over the past 250 years.
She became a lightning rod of international controversy after claiming she was a kidnapped French princess.
Berkley and Pflueger team up to fight walleyes and stamp out missed strikes with the new 6-6 M Moderate Lightning Rod Shock ($49.95), and the 7030 Medalist Spinning Reel ($89.95).
In 1778, fashionable Parisian women never went out during stormy weather without a lightning rod attached to their hat.
There was no lightning rod at the runway of the airport, located in the city of Miyazaki.
Stealing God's thunder; Benjamin Franklin's lightning rod and the invention of America.
The retreat from multiculturalism began well before 2001--the 9/11 attacks served as a lightning rod to hasten anti-immigration attitudes.
The Ten Commandments have become a lightning rod in U.S.
Marcovici acts like a lightning rod to Whelan's emotional electricity.
When I told Butch he was going to succeed me as CEO, he vowed that BE "would serve as the lightning rod to inform and inspire people to believe that all things are possible." Under his stewardship, I know that statement will ring true.
The reporter at the center of it all--captivated by power, obsessed with high-level access, addicted to anonymous sources--acts as a pawn in an intragovernmental turf war, becoming in the process a lightning rod for critics of journalistic comportment.
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