Metaphors Gone Wild
  • Kettle Of Fish

    It’s no secret that I will on occasion deliberately mix my metaphors and figures of speech, so to speak, and yet I’ll be among the first to admit that if left unchecked this practice can go horribly awry, leaving even the hottest of your readers ice-cold.

    Still, I’ll often defend the practice publicly, on poetic grounds, much to the chagrin of many of my acquaintances and friends with whom it’s become something of a bone of contention — and who, in discreet silence, think my days as a writer are perhaps numbered.

    The following, however, I think everyone would agree, are an entirely different kettle of fish:

    The mayor has a heart as big as the Sahara for protecting “his” police officers, and that is commendable. Unfortunately, he also often strips his gears by failing to engage the clutch when shifting what emanates from his brain to his mouth. The bullets he fires too often land in his own feet.
    (from the Montgomery Advertiser, Alabama, November 16, 1987)

    And from the Urban Tulsa Weekly (March 3, 2003):

    At last, the lip service that education has been lathered in for the past couple decades seems to have found the razor’s edge among people who are willing to do something about improving it here, at the elementary level all the way up through public universities. But as budgets continue to be shaved, will the arts once again be trimmed from the programming?

    I suppose in some respects it all just depends upon whose ox is being gored.

About The Author

Ray Harvey

I was born and raised in the San Juan Mountains of southwestern Colorado. I've worked as a short-order cook, construction laborer, crab fisherman, janitor, bartender, pedi-cab driver, copyeditor, and more. I've written and ghostwritten several published books and articles, but no matter where I've gone or what I've done to earn my living, there's always been literature and learning at the core of my life.

5 Responses and Counting...

  • Averil Dean 03.15.2012

    Is it too late to rethink that Picasso reference? So uncomfortable.

  • Whatever do you mean, Averil Dean?

  • I may be a dinosaur dieing on the vine, but when it comes to metaphors I’m playing my cards to the hilt.

  • Can I get me some of that lathered lip service?

  • “Lathered” was the whole punchbowl for me as well, Doc.

    Thank you for dropping by.

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