Quid pro quo is one of these things to muddy the works

This gem was uttered by Congressman Jim Himes (D-CT) yesterday on Meet the Press, talking about the Trump impeachment inquiry.  It is a mashup of “muddy the waters” (to make a situation less clear) and “gum up the works” (to interfere with the proper functioning of something).   Both expressions refer to degrading something, and “works” and “waters” might have been jumbled by the phrase “water works”?   A big shout out to Bruce Ryan who heard this one and passed it on.  @jahimes @MeetThePress

You can hear this malaphor just about at the beginning of the video:




Microsoft continues to cloudy the water

The exact quote is “Microsoft continues to cloudy the water around their licensing schemes.”  This was heard on a corporate training video discussing a technology where software use is either licensed via a traditional shrink-wrapped license or via a Service Provider Licensing Arrangement.  It is a congruent conflation of  “cloud the issue” and “muddy the waters”, both meaning to make something unclear.  Certainly muddy water is cloudy, and hence the mix up.  And as pointed out by the Magellan of Malaphors Mike Kovacs, who heard this beauty, readers should note the transmogrification of the word “cloud” to fit this malaphor.  Score for Mike and extra points for using the word transmogrification in a sentence and for using the word correctly.  This is like getting fouled on a three point shot that goes in and having the other team called for a technical.

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!”