Getting into the weeds – or the capillaries

“Getting into the weeds” is a confusing metaphor.  I think of a search for something lost, like a golf ball.

But folks use the phrase to mean looking at details.  If so, “getting into the capillaries” (an old metaphor used by tax policy folks thinking through details) would be clearer.  Weeds are all bad; capillaries require careful, detailed, individual attention.  Some capillaries are working well, some need fixing, and some are beyond fixing — like different parts of a statutory draft.  Maybe capillaries is too big a word these days.  See




Author: patoglesby

From 1982 to 1990, I worked in tax policy for Committees of the United States Congress. In recent years, I was Adjunct Lecturer at UNC-Chapel Hill's Business School and then Adjunct Professor at its Law School.

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