Advertisements

He always said 1990 was the year he hit the rocks

This one comes from New York Times reporter Susanne Craig, appearing on MSNBC’s Morning Joe, discussing her reporting on Donald Trump’s business losses during 1984-1994.  It is a congruent conflation of “hit rock bottom” and “hit the skids”, both referring to a period of trouble or decline.  Both contain the word “hit”, contributing to the mixup.  “Hit a new low” might also be in the mix.  A big thanks to Vicki Ameel Kovacs for hearing this one.  Vicki can spot a malaphor a mile away.

Advertisements

Egg this process forward

This was uttered on the Rachel Maddow show.  It was regarding Devlin Barrett’s breaking story regarding Mueller’s letter to Barr about his concerns with Barr’s summary.  It is a nice congruent conflation of “egg someone on” and “move (something) forward” both meaning to cause or encourage someone to do something. A big thanks to Frank King, the Mental Health Comedian, for hearing this one!


That’s a bit of a straw horse, isn’t it?

This was heard in a phone conference.  The context indicated that the speaker was thinking of straw man.  It is a nice conflation of “straw man” (a form of argument and an informal fallacy based on giving the impression of refuting an opponent’s argument, while actually refuting an argument that was not presented by that opponent) and I think “horse of a different color” (something completely different, particularly in comparison of something else).  Both expressions refer to comparisons or substitutions. “Trojan horse” (something that seems good or useful but is really something to cause harm in the future) may also be in play, as again it refers to a substitution or comparison.  The speaker probably linked “straw” with “horses” instead of “men” which would be logical, as horses sleep on straw.

Speaking of straw man arguments, they are incredibly abundant in today’s political theater as fallacies seem to be successful tactics.  For example, Trump wants a wall on our southern border. That leads Republicans to support the unfair assumption that anyone who opposes the wall is for open borders; Trump even went so far as to accuse House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of supporting human trafficking because she opposes the border wall. However, immigration is not an either/or proposition. Both sides are in favor of border security, but if the Democrats must defend themselves against the false charge that they want no restrictions at all on immigration, they waste time and energy that could be spent on reaching common ground. Thus the straw man that Democrats are distracted by and find themselves attacking instead of the real issue.

A big thanks to Forrest Morgan for hearing this one and passing it on!


Don’t leave me out to dry

The speaker uttered this one and then realized a few minutes later he had spoken a perfect malaphor.  This is a conflation of “leave (one) hanging” (keep someone in suspense) and “hang (one) out to dry” (to desert in a troubling situation).  Certainly you leave clothes out to dry on a nice sunny day so perhaps the speaker had this visual in his mind.  A tip of the hat to Dan Obergfell for not only sharing this one but saying it as well!


People don’t want to live on eggshells

This was heard in an administrative hearing.  It is a conflation of “walking on eggshells” (to act with great care so as not to upset someone) and I think “live in a glass house” (be susceptible to judgment or criticism).  Eggshells and glass are both very fragile, and I think the speaker was thinking of both.  “Living on the edge” (doing something daring or bold) might also be in the mix, with an eggshell (Humpty-Dumpty?) sitting on the edge of a wall.  Any other thoughts?  A big thanks to Sam Edelmann who heard this one and passed it on.


In the mind of the beholder

This one was heard on 710 WOR in New York City.  It appears to be a combo of “in the eye of the beholder” (subjective appreciation made by an individual viewer) and “in (one’s) mind’s eye” (in one’s imagination).  “Mind” and “eye” are similar sounding words.  A big thanks to Verbatim for hearing this one and sending it in.


He’s grabbed it by the horn

This amazing malaphor was uttered by Donald Trump, on his reaction to Bill Barr’s performance as Attorney General and how Barr has handled the Mueller Report.

“Attorney General Barr is going to be giving a press conference and maybe I’ll do one after that, we’ll see. But he’s been a fantastic attorney general. He’s grabbed it by the horns,” Trump said.

https://www.abc-7.com/story/40326997/democrats-outraged-as-trump-team-shapes-mueller-report-rollout

It is a mashup of “grab the bull by the horns” (take control of a difficult situation) and Trump’s own expression, “grab ’em by the p***y” (stating that since he is rich and powerful he can do anything he wants with women).  Given the speaker, it is probably a good bet that the latter expression was floating in his mind when he uttered this malaphor.  Perhaps the word “horns” triggered the mix up?  A big thanks to Mike Kovacs for hearing this gem and realizing it was a genuine malaphor.  Excellent work, Mike.  Keep those ears open.