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Mixed metaphors again

January 29, 2015

Mixed metaphors are always regrettable (unless intentionally assembled for comic effect). They give the impression of a writer not quite in control – trying to be impressive but overreaching themselves. There was a spectacular example in yesterday’s Times by Matthew Paris, who just seems to have thrown a bunch of idioms into a blender: “Obduracy, when it tramples tin-eared on the lives and feelings of others can be incendiary.”

Obduracy trampling on things is an odd enough image to begin with, but that it should do so in a tin-eared manner and then set stuff on fire… Well. It simply distracts from the point of the article, which was that the EU was too hard on Greece. Come on, Matthew. Have a word with yourself. 

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