In the 70s women were trying to break into the glass ceiling

This is a subtle malaphor involving the misuse of “into” and “through”.  On National Public Radio a reporter was talking to a woman who had been one of the early female insurance agents in Cincinnati. She said that in the 70s women were trying to break into the glass ceiling.  As Yvonne Stam, the contributor of this mash up says, “Which sounds painful, but breaking through the glass ceiling was no walk in the park either.”  This is a mash up of “breaking through the glass ceiling” (overcoming an unacknowledged discriminatory barrier to employment, particularly for women) and “break in (someone)” (train or instruct in a new job or enterprise).  “Break new ground” also may be in play, as it describes someone doing something no one else has done, which certainly applies to the glass ceiling.  A big thanks to that hawk-eared Yvonne Stam for hearing this one and sending it in!

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One Comment on “In the 70s women were trying to break into the glass ceiling”

  1. Uh…any woman who’s had to endure a predominantly male corporate atmosphere for longer than a month will accurately describe the experience as being “like glass being shoved into my skull.” I’m gonna give this malaphor a pass.


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