One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
The less important or subsidiary factor, person, or thing dominates a situation; the usual roles are reversed.‘the financing system is becoming the tail that wags the dog’
- ‘But he says that the conclusion as to whether the tail wags the dog or the reverse may be less straightforward.’
- ‘Borges talks about not being able to tell whether the tail wags the dog or the dog wags the tail in his own writing of poetry and stories.’
- ‘How frightening it is when the tail wags the dog.’
- ‘The goal of developing the economy has yielded to the states looking to simply alleviate their budget concerns; the tail wags the dog.’
- ‘Even asking whether The Superstar Effect or TLT will win in a fight is like asking whether the dog wags the tail or the tail wags the dog.’
- ‘But, they persist, peddling garbage, contradicting themselves in public (as in the example I posted), asserting the illogical (e.g. that the tail wags the dog) without evidentiary support from real sources, etc.’
- ‘What are some of the most common ways in which the tail wags the dog in financial aid?’
- ‘When ‘the truth’ becomes irrelevant, and perception is all that matters, then the tail wags the dog, and (as you know) that ain't quite right.’
- ‘This tail wags the dog, dominates university life for students and staff.’
- ‘He must have gained a profound understanding of that old saw ‘when the tail wags the dog’ in his role as program manager for the project.’
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