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I was surprised he fell south so fast

Another from sports talk radio.  A sports columnist, Ron Cook, was commenting on Pittsburgh Pirates pitcher Joe Musgrove’s recent poor outings and did not expect them after his excellent start of the season.  It is a congruent conflation of “fall apart” and “go south”, both meaning to depreciate or drop in value.  If you fall south then does that mean you rise north?  A big thanks to John Kooser who heard this one and passed it on.

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He had a hissing contest

Ron Cook, a Pittsburgh Post-Gazette sports writer, uttered this beauty on the sports talk radio show, 93.7 The Fan.  He was summarizing Steelers’ wide receiver Antonio Brown’s out of control behavior and that Brown had “a hissing contest” with one of the coaches.  This is a conflation of “pissing contest” (useless or trivial argument) and a “hissy fit” (a childish temper tantrum).  Both idioms actually fit the context, a rarity in malaphors.  The rhyming of hissing and pissing also contributed to the mashup.  A big thanks to John Kooser for hearing this one and sending it in.


He was sleeping on the switch

On a Pittsburgh sports radio call-in show called The Fan, Ron Cook (an excellent Pittsburgh Post Gazette Sports writer and sports show commentator) hung up on a caller who did not answer in time.   He then said the caller was “sleeping on the switch”.   This is a congruent conflation of “asleep at the switch” and “sleeping on the job”, both meaning to be inattentive.  “Asleep at the wheel” might also be in play, but I doubt it as the mix up is with the prepositions “at” and “on”.  A big thanks to John Kooser who was certainly not sleeping on the switch when he heard this one.