moose vs elephant
February 11, 2010 9:25 PM   Subscribe

could someone shed some light on the origin of the phrase "moose in the room," and how it compares to "the elephant in the room"? Thank you.
posted by macinchik to Writing & Language (6 answers total)
I think it was just The Economist taking a personalized jab at Sarah Palin.
posted by clockzero at 9:29 PM on February 11, 2010

Also, there's an Invader Zim episode that makes reference to the horrors of... a ROOM WITH A MOOSE.

My new crackpot theory is that the Economist is run by Invader Zim.
posted by larkspur at 10:25 PM on February 11, 2010

"Moose in the room" has also been used in a context that had nothing to do with Palin.

But ... that was also a jokey reference to a literal moose.

So, the real phrase is "elephant in the room." If someone uses an animal other than "elephant," you can assume it's not a real idiom but a spoof of the "elephant" phrase.
posted by Jaltcoh at 4:46 AM on February 12, 2010

There's also a business book series about the Moose on the Table, dealing with employee silence - in other words, people not bringing up issues at meetings.
posted by LolaGeek at 4:56 AM on February 12, 2010 [1 favorite]

Maybe they're Volvo fans.

More seriously, though, it's older that Palin's rise and flail but seems to be used identically to Elephant in the room. Googling "Moose in the Room" leads to some interesting things, though.

Here's even a case of it being used by what looks like a conservative dismissing the need for health care reform. (Hint: Don't tell me about percentage of expenditures, tell me in percentage of median income or better still, 2009 dollars.)

Anyhow, it sounds like what I used to do when I rebranded the economic principal "guns and butter" as "beer and fighter planes" because I lived in St. Louis.
posted by Kid Charlemagne at 5:20 AM on February 12, 2010

I came in here just to make an invader zim reference. Well done, larkspur.
posted by bluloo at 9:15 PM on February 12, 2010

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