Mixed Metaphors Let’s get our ducks on the same page.

Mixed Metaphors Let’s get our ducks on the same page.

  • Words Bella Gladman
  • Photograph Paula Codoner

Retired federal judge Dave Hatfield has been collecting malaphors for over 30 years and posting them on his website, malaphors.com, for nearly 10. Malaphors are mixed metaphors—the product of two idioms blended together to make a humorous Frankenphrase such as: “I’ll burn that bridge when I come to it.” Though most commonly observed in political punditry and sports commentary on TV and radio, none of us will escape getting our linguistic wires crossed from time to time. Hatfield says that’s no bad thing: In fact, it reveals the creative, mutable power of language.

BELLA GLADMAN: You’ve been collecting malaphors for 30 years. What initially drew you to them? 

DAVE HATFIELD: There’s a part of me that’s drawn to using language creatively. When I used to teach law to new ju...

ISSUE 52

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