Thursday, November 25, 2010

A few amusing examples of mixed metaphors (10)

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.

Example of a mixed metaphor

David Stockman (pictured), former Director of the Office of Management and Budget (U.S.), writes, “…the specious ideological shibboleths of both parties will have poisoned the only policy tools… that can make a difference.”

Example of a mixed metaphor

Wallyhood, a blogger, expresses his thanks to his 1,000th Facebook Friend: “As a small token of our appreciation for ushering over the threshold of this milestone…” In a footnote, he thanks his readers for indulging the mixed metaphor.

Example of a mixed metaphor

Paul Kenney, on his “Saturday Football” blog, writes, “The Falcons fly on the legs (I know; mixed metaphor) of the nation’s top ranked rushing attack, which is averaging 326 yards a game.”

The Takeaway: Mixed metaphors often distract your readers. In some cases, they make your prose impossible to understand. Ideally, you should have someone edit your copy. (For some reason, it is often difficult to spot your own mixed metaphors. If a man as brainy as David Stockman can miss his own slips, so can we all.)

See disclaimer.

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