Dangoor Walk

There’s a new road alongside the Crick, named Dangoor Walk.

dangoorwalk

I guessed that it must have been named after the late Sir Naim Dangoor, and sure enough he appears on the list of donors on a wall inside, amongst those whose generosity is acknowledged by Cancer Research UK. Strictly speaking, the acknowledgement is of Sir Naim Dangoor CBE and the Exilarch’s Foundation. The Exilarch’s Foundation is a real charity, but Exilarch is now an insubstantial almost mythical position. The title is a link to the past of an old community and refers to the secular leader of the Babylonian Jewish community in exile. It hasn’t referred to anything real for about a thousand years.

If you want to see how Wikipedia editors struggle with getting right things that might be controversial or not fit in with legal or neutral enough definitions, take a look behind the scenes at previous edits (using history and talk tabs). The first version, written before his death, began by describing Dangoor as a refugee. The latest version of the page on Dangoor doesn’t use ‘fled’, ‘forced to flee’ or ‘refugee’ which were in early versions, but tells us he took the ‘difficult decision’ to leave Iraq, which meant he also lost all he had. It is a small example of a much larger issue: minority communities from Iraq and other countries of the Middle East and North Africa, who left under extreme duress and in some cases had to escape when they weren’t allowed to leave, lost everything and had to find other countries to take them in. They weren’t and aren’t officially designated as refugees.

Dangoor Walk

Best living metaphors caught on the fly

Living metaphors for me aren’t actually metaphors at all. They’re events, sights or occurrences which suddenly (in a flash) reveal the origin of an elaborate metaphor that has got so tired through overuse the original meaning is usually buried too deep to surface. (I got 5 dull metaphors in that last sentence.) I was walking down my street for instance when I spotted a man with a chainsaw up a plane tree pruning a branch and IN A FLASH I realised he was out on a limb.

It’s rare to spot a new living metaphor, in my experience (or at least one that’s interesting enough to collect). I disqualified all the examples people have given me on the grounds that they weren’t  found in the wild, but were remembered turns of phrase without any sudden link to an event or experience. So if you catch one, please tell me about it.

Here’s one from an organ recital I went to, not knowing much about how organs work. It turns out they can involve several keyboards, stops and pedals. The organist has to switch from one set of pipes to another as the large organs in concert halls like the Royal Festival and Royal Albert Halls are actually made up of several separate smaller individual organs. Depending on the piece of music being played the organist might be using only one of them, or more. You can see when the doors covering the pipes are opened so you can tell which pipes are being used. The concert ended with the loudest crescendo I’ve ever heard, a massive wall of sound. IN A FLASH I realised the organist had pulled out all the stops.

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Best living metaphors caught on the fly