slender reed, a

(redirected from slender reed)

slender reed, a

A weak and unreliable support. This metaphor dates from biblical times, appearing in both Old and New Testaments. In the former, in the books of Isaiah and 2 Kings, it was applied to Egypt, which was variously described as a “broken” or “bruised” reed, not to be trusted if the Assyrians made war on the Hebrews. The term persisted into the mid-twentieth century but is heard less often today.
References in classic literature ?
Hanging obliquely from his girdle by a loop of sinnate was a richly decorated pipe; the slender reed forming its stem was coloured with a red pigment, and round it, as well as the idol-bowl, fluttered little streamers of the thinnest tappa.
Images of a man who looks like he's been crucified, flying characters who commit suicide, and multiple shots of charred bodies are the kinds of things that begin to weigh down this slender reed of an adaptation.
Still, there is one slender reed of hope: "While businesses can't change, corporations can."
As Dorsey writes, "A commitment to saving resources for the morrow was neither wide nor deep while the largest whales were still numerous, the concerns about protecting sovereignty were real, and the science was a slender reed on which to lean" (p.
On this slender reed Udall leans his overheated accusations that Gardner is bent on ''trampling on women's rights,'' is on a ''crusade'' for ''eliminating'' reproductive freedoms and would ''outlaw birth control.''
In the end, CIA Arabism proved a slender reed on which to rest future hopes of American-Arab cooperation.
A slender reed of hope comes with the election of some new faces in the recent West bank municipal elections.
"It is possible that Xi Jinping might take more interest in Tibet as a result of his family, but it is a slender reed on which to base your hopes."
Given such a lack of specificity, this second, otherwise more promising structural approach seems like a slender reed on which to lean.
The latest liar to rest upon this slender reed is Mike Daisey, the off-Broadway performer and crusader against the evils of the Chinese manufacturing system and its assembling of Apple products.
This hope, however, is supported by a very slender reed indeed, the probably fatuous expectation that the market rally will continue and betoken a smooth transition back into robust economic growth.
Moreover, a "win-win" strategy is a slender reed for maximizing comprehensive soft power.
Some of Oregon's marriage statutes are ambiguous, but that ambiguity would have been a slender reed on which to base a fundamental change in social policy.
Seeking a slender reed of support for his assault on misguided "liberal" law professors, Fletcher focuses on the notion of "unlawful combatants"--persons who, we evidently agree, may be subject to the jurisdiction of military tribunals.