The President is using his bully pit to create questions on our electionsPosted: November 16, 2018 Filed under: WORD BLENDS | Tags: bully pulpit, expressions, malaphor, malaphors, Maria Teresa Kumar, MSNBC, pit bull, Trump, words 1 Comment
This gem was uttered by Maria Teresa Kumar on MSNBC’s Last Word on November 12, 2018. Is it a malaphor? I think it is a malaphor word blend of “bully pulpit” (a public position that allows a person to share his views with a large audience) and “pit bull” (an aggressive and tenacious person). The latter defines the subject and the former was the intended idiom to be used. A big thank you to James Kozlowski for hearing this one and sharing it.
My issue is not with the malaphor “bully pit” (well explained, by the way) but with the awkward, nonidiomatic and definitely clumsy phrase that follows: “to create questions on our elections.” Since Ms. Kumar is from Colombia, she’s a Spanish speaker but the clumsy phrase is more Spanglish than English. A native English speaker has to read the sentence two or three times to finally understand what she’s trying to convey, and one still ends up with ambiguity.