Put your best face forward

The speaker was talking about the importance of translating marketing messages accurately into various languages, urging the viewers to “put your best face forward.”  This is a nice mashup of “put your best foot forward” (act or appear at your best, or to try and make a good impression) and “put a good face on” (To act as though a particular situation is not as undesirable or grim as it really is).  “Put a smile on someone’s face” (makes someone happy) might also be in play.  I believe this mix up is caused primarily by the word “put”, appearing in both idioms.  Also, the positive words “good” and “best” might also have contributed to the mental confusion.  Of course “foot” and “face” are both four letter words beginning with “f ” which might have taken the speaker down the malaphor path.  A big thanks to Marcia Johnston (author of “Word Up!” and “You Can Say That Again”) for hearing this one and passing it along!  Catch Marcia at http://www.writing.rocks if you enjoy writing!

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