Friday, September 11, 2009

A few amusing examples of mixed metaphors (1)

A mixed metaphor can be unintentionally amusing. It can also confuse or distract your reader. Your reader may stop to chuckle at the incongruity of the mixed metaphor and lose track of your main argument. Worst of all, your distracted reader may even stop reading what you have written.


From a September 8 post on the “Bah! Humbug” blog:

“ ‘Now we are ready to venture into the tiger’s lair in search of the holy Grail’ Great mixed metaphor”


From a September 10 article on the “” web site:

“Tuition costs have gone in only one direction – up – during Mr. Weiss’s career. ‘I genuinely believe that we are at a crossroads here in higher education,’ he said. ‘I think we have reached a ceiling that we’re beginning to bump into.’ ”

[Mr. Weiss is a college president and a former management consultant; even highly educated and experienced people inadvertently use mixed metaphors, especially when speaking.]


From a September 10 post on the “while coding” blog:

“These questions only scratch the surface, but hopefully they plug a few leaks. (How’s that for a mixed metaphor?)”

The Takeaway: For some reason, we generally find it difficult to detect our own mixed metaphors. If possible, always have someone edit your copy.

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