Thursday, June 10, 2010

A few amusing examples of mixed metaphors (8)

Mixed metaphors are often amusing, as these examples illustrate. However, we writers are usually more interested in informing and persuading our readers than in amusing them. Mixed metaphors may distract our readers and impede information and persuasion. Here are a few amusing mixed metaphors:

Example of a mixed metaphor

According to, Tom Ridge, head of the U.S. Government’s Homeland Security Department in the Bush administration, said, “If we discover later that it’s really just a facade to delve into a fishing expedition, I would find that just unacceptable, outrageous and a further distortion of the system.” (Boldface added.)

Example of a mixed metaphor

According to a post on The Risk Factor, “That Microsoft, which seems to have a toe dipped into every information technology lake in the world, would both insist on dogfooding and fail spectacularly at it requires no great stretch of the imagination.” (Boldface added.)

Example of a mixed metaphor

According to Michael S. Rozeff, “Swiss banking secrecy has been going down the tubes for years now. It’s now a dead letter.” (Boldface added.)

The Takeaway: Mixed metaphors may distract your readers. They may even make your prose impossible to understand. Ideally, you should have someone edit your copy (mixed metaphors are more easily spotted by the reader than by the writer).

See disclaimer.

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