An omnichannel approach blurs the waters

Here’s this one in context:
“Where an omnichannel approach blurs the waters is looking at the user-first approach across the landscape of all the devices the customer uses to achieve a task. In doing so, omnichannel compromises the agendas of business silos and industry trends such as mobile-first, since consumers and their needs drive any approach.”
This is a congruent conflation of “muddy the waters” and “blur the distinction”, both meaning to confuse the issue.  This is a particularly good one as “muddy” and “blur” have similar meanings and sounds.  And who can forget that great blues artist, Blurry Waters?  A big thank you to Marcia Johnston for seeing this one and passing it on.  As she said to me, given the context, “this water sure looks muddy and blurry to me!”

They really can hold their water

The Waterboy

The Waterboy (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

We’re not talking camels here, but a sports description.  The speaker has mixed “hold their own” (do as well as anyone else), the phrase the speaker meant to say, and “not hold water” (an argument or opinion that can be shown to be wrong).  Perhaps the speaker was also thinking of those folks that literally hold water for athletes, such as The Waterboy?   A big thanks to Justin Taylor, who certainly does not need to hold water for anyone, for sending this one in!


We’ll drop a line in the water and see what sticks

Pittsburgh Steelers coach Mike Tomlin - Septem...

Pittsburgh Steelers coach Mike Tomlin – September 16, 2007 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This jumble was apparently uttered by Pittsburgh Steelers coach Mike Tomlin a few weeks ago in response to the running backs situation.  It is a mash up of “dip a toe in the water” (to test or try out something) and “make (something) stick” (to cause to be accepted).  “Throw dirt enough and some will stick” might also be in the equation.  Given the Steelers first performance, apparently the line was made of teflon.  Thanks to Dan Geier for overhearing this one on the radio.


That’s water under the dam

This is a commonly used malaphor,  blending two idioms – “water under the bridge” and “water over the dam” – that contain the same word (water) and have the same meaning (past and unchangeable events).   Add two words that both describe direction (over and under), and two structures that are in or over water (dams and bridges) and you get a subtle  mix-up.   I have posted a few similar malaphors – see “that’s water over the bridge” (8/4/12) and “that’s just blood under the bridge” (11/9/12).   Many thanks to John Costello for this one.