Up in the ivory tower

Our story today about UNC system president Erskine Bowles referred to the “ivory tower.” I also ran across a reference in a blog post to folks in “ivory towers.” The phrase refers to academic institutions or to the elitism and out-of-touch thinking that we sometimes associate with academics.

I wondered how the term started. World Wide Words has a great explanation of how a biblical symbol became a poetic allusion and a common expression.

This article was originally posted by the Raleigh News & Observer, a subsidiary of The McClatchy Co.; is posted here to provide continuity; and is copyright © 2011 The News & Observer Publishing Company, which reserves the right to remove this post.