sacrificial anion (n)

noun: a metal coating that is applied to ships to protect the hull against salt water.  It must be reapplied/replaced every so often, like brake pads, or a cell phone screen protector.

Disambiguation: any sort of temporary protective coating, veneer, or barrier.

Metaphorically — fine rhetoric disguising or encapsulating a shoddy argument.  A fresh layer of paint on a crumbling house.

The golden record uses a thin layer of gold as a sacrificial anion to protect the record against vacuum of space.

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