.This was heard on NPR’s “Here and Now” show. A pundit was talking about trying to predict what the Mueller investigation report will be like, based on all the information that has been released so far. It is a mashup of “reading the tea leaves” (predicting on little bits of information) and “tie it all together” (finish it up neatly). “Tie up loose ends” (resolve some issues at the end that are not critical) might also be in the mix. Tea leaves seem to confuse folks. Previous malaphors have included “reading between the tea leaves” https://malaphors.com/2017/03/27/reading-between-the-tea-leaves/ and “read between the tea lines” https://malaphors.com/2019/01/24/i-wish-i-could-read-between-the-tea-lines/. A tip of the hat to John Costello for hearing this one!
Jackie Speier (D-CA) uttered this nice malaphor on the All In with Chris Hayes show on MSNBC (11/28/18). Here is the context: “and I have no doubt in my mind that we will at some point, when the Mueller investigation is over, be able to put all the dots in a row and draw a line through them.” This is a congruent conflation of “get your ducks in a row” (organize your affairs) and “connect the dots” (to understand something by piecing together bits of information). “Dots” and “ducks” sound alike and the idea of connecting dots is similar to a row. A big thanks to Mike Kovacs for hearing this one.
This excellent malaphor was uttered by a CNN reporter on the program New Day on 8/9/18. The reporter was referring to Mueller, and his ongoing negotiations with Trump’s legal team with respect to an interview with Trump. It’s a congruent conflation of “running the show” and “calling the shots”, both referring to someone who is in control of the situation. “Show” and “shot” are both four letter words that have similar sounds, and I suspect the reason for the mental mix up. A big thank you to Mike Kovacs for hearing this one and sending it in.