Is the Saddle Made of Potting Soil?

Headline in today’s paper: “Gay rights leader from Ark. lets his roots take the reins.”

I wonder whether people who mix metaphors like that have an impoverished imagination. Otherwise wouldn’t bizarre images leap to mind and force a rewrite?

4 Responses to Is the Saddle Made of Potting Soil?

  1. Anon73 July 7, 2012 at 8:32 pm #

    At least it’s not the groan-inducing puns the media is so fond of using in news opening paragraphs.

  2. Anton Sherwood July 10, 2012 at 10:47 am #

    I’m convinced that most people can’t be bothered to analyze the phrases that they have learned to use; to put it another way, the attention I give to the literal meanings of words is abnormal.

    Trivial example: to my ex-wife “beef-jerky” is one lexeme, not two, and it takes a great effort for her not to call turkey jerky a kind of beef-jerky.

    • Anton Sherwood September 1, 2012 at 10:07 pm #

      Less trivial example: I heard someone complaining that non-citizens are treated like “second-class citizens”.

  3. Roderick September 5, 2012 at 5:22 pm #

    Just remembered this: “The sole aim of a metaphor is to call up a visual image. When these images clash — as in The Fascist octopus has sung its swan song, the jackboot is thrown into the melting pot — it can be taken as certain that the writer is not seeing a mental image of the objects he is naming.” — George Orwell

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