It’s the 800 pound elephant in the room

Elephants and gorillas don’t mix, yet this malaphor is an exception.  This was heard on the NPR show “to the Best of Our Knowledge”.  Charles Monroe Cain was interviewing former navy pilot and drone developer Missy Cummings from Duke. He asked her about “the 800 pound elephant in the room.”   This is a conflation of “the 800 pound gorilla (dominant force that cannot be ignored) and “the elephant in the room” (a truth that cannot be ignored).  Bottom line is that you can’t ignore a gorilla OR an elephant.  This elephant mix up thing seems pretty common – see prior postings on pink elephants and white elephants.   A trumpeting thank you to eagle eared malaphor hunter Yvonne Stam for sending this one in!

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