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Most insurers are just burying their hands in the sand

Normally I would pass this off as just using the wrong word, in this case body part, in an expression – hands for heads.  However, in context it is indeed a malaphor.  On the Clark Howard podcast from 4/13/2018, Clark was discussing the insurance industry’s slow response to entering the short-term rental (e.g., AirBnB) market. He had just said the insurance companies were sitting on their hands, then shortly thereafter said, “Most insurers are just burying their hands in the sand.”  He quickly corrected himself, but unfortunately did not shout “Malaphor!” at that moment as he apparently is not a follower of this site.  What about it, Clark?  @clarkhoward  This is a mashup of “”sitting on (one’s) hands” (taking no action) and “burying (one’s) head in the sand” (to avoid a situation pretending it does not exist).  Both expressions involve inaction, contributing to the mixup.  Also the words “sand” and “hand” rhyme which also could have a culprit.  A big thanks to Debbie Rose who heard this one.

 

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