MP takes up arms in House of Commons

According to recent raw copy:
Shadow Transport Secretary Theresa Villiers has taken up arms on behalf of the road haulage industry in the House of Commons.

I do hope that's a metaphorical rather than literal taking up of arms (although others may not be of the same opinion).

I changed it – just because it threw me on first read. I wonder how common it is to use 'take up arms' metaphorically...

Update 21/07: A very famous use of 'take up arms' (or rather, 'take arms') has just occurred to me, from Hamlet's most famous speech:

To be, or not to be: that is the question:
Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer
The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune,
Or to take arms against a sea of troubles,
And by opposing end them?

'Sea of troubles' is definitely metaphorical here, but 'take arms'? Not sure.


Apus said...

Good for you, JD. I am regularly irritated by the use of military terms by pen pushers. I recently read an interview with a senior TV executive in which he recalled bing in the line of fire, and spoke of "a massacre" of middle management. Enough to make a retied sub shudder.

The Ridger, FCD said...

Looking at Google, it's about 1:4 metaphor to literal. The literal ones are about the American Revolution, terrorists, rebellions, and Cuchulain. So, more common to be literal, but then again, no bank robbers or car jackers have "taken up arms" - only soldiers of one stripe or another.

Which confirms my original thought, that I wouldn't use "taken up arms" for a rogue MP.

TootsNYC said...

I thought that image was an oval white button w/ a comma on it.

And I'm shuddering w/ Apus--I hate the use of military terms for non-military situations.

We really, as a people, have a need for drama, don't we? Metaphors like "wave of firings" aren't enough.