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Trying to lighten the elephant in the room

This is a great image and a terrific malaphor.  It was uttered unintentionally by someone describing an awkward date.  She tried to engage in small talk, and related the following to a friend:

“I said, ‘I love the mountains so much, especially at night,’ trying to lighten the elephant in the room.”

This is a mashup of “the elephant in the room” (obvious problem no one wants to discuss) and “lighten the mood” (trying to cheer everyone up).  “The elephant in the room” seems to be a common expression mix-up.  For example, I have posted:

“It’s the 800 pound elephant in the room”  https://malaphors.com/2015/03/30/its-the-800-pound-elephant-in-the-room/

“I think that’s the pink elephant in the room” https://malaphors.com/2013/08/07/i-think-thats-the-pink-elephant-in-the-room/

“The white elephant in the room”  https://malaphors.com/2012/09/06/the-white-elephant-in-the-room/

In fact, I have a separate section devoted to the “elephant malaphor” in my book, “He Smokes Like a Fish and other Malaphors”, available on Amazon. https://www.amazon.com/dp/0692652205

A tip of the hat to Sydney Bergeson for hearing this one and sending it in!

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2 Comments on “Trying to lighten the elephant in the room”

  1. davemalaphor says:

    I agree! A perfectly shaped malaphor, combining two meanings into one.


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