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October 28, 2008

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The boxing angle is the only one that can be supported by the evidence, I think. I sent this summary http://tinyurl.com/5q3ybf to Juliet Lapidos who wrote this article, http://www.slate.com/id/2203028/ "Explainer Goes in the Tank," for Slate. It's similar to what I sent to Safire at the time he wrote about "in the tank," though he quoted only Dickson. A difference is that I believe there's a direct connection to actual tanks, not a metaphorical one.

@Grant: Thanks for the link and for the Slate article, which I somehow missed while researching the expression. I've elevated the substance of your comment to the body of the post.

I have to mention first that I'm not a professional namer or writer of any kind and a poor researcher at best. However, I do enjoy the expert presentations on this blog and the opportunity to send in my thoughts.
Some other uses of "tank":from PBS, a member of a Washinghton "think tank"; a holding cell," drunk tank"; "tanked up" drunken. Using "sharks in the tank" resembles the warning , "There is a shark in your pool." Be careful , you are playing with someone that's dangerous. "In the tank with", seems to denote "plays together with" ,equally,as a member of ,or sympathizes with that swimming pools group. "She's in the tank (pool) with the herbalists. And tank or tanked used as a verb to dive down.
All that seems fairly innocent but "in the tank FOR " or "in Joe's tank" seems to idicate some kind of control by the owner of the tank. From the movie, The Godfather: "the judge is in our pocket"( he owes us a favor and must do what we tell him to do.) "Tank" being used as a personal container the same as "pocket" may hint at some underhanded dealings or illegal connections without actually saying it, which might be why it's beening used so much in this election. For example , we might read : "He is popular with the press." (He sells newspapers and attracts viewers.) Compared to : "The press is in his tank" or "they are in the tank for him." It alludes to nefarious behavior.

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