Ahh, Shoot!

Doug Harris cats22 at STNY.RR.COM
Sat Nov 29 19:05:24 UTC 2008

'Ran across, in Tom Clancy's "Mission of Honor", the phrase _cutting bait and running_ -- the shorter version of which, _cut bait and run_, attracts a modest 1260 google hits.
Comments on one of those (http://www.desipio.com/?p=1266) veered off into discussions of odd mixed metaphors. One commentator (why not just 'commentor'?) said he'd actually heard someone say
“Shoot yourself in the foot to spite your face”.
Something I've heard frighteningly frequently of late is what you might call a mix-mastered metaphor -- one given such a shake or stir that sense ends up sorely abused: "far and few between."
So far, unfortunately, I haven't heard it in a situation where I could comfortably ask the speaker precisely what s/he means by that phrase.
BTW, the sports-related desipio article cited above is ripe -- actually somewhat _over_ ripe -- with rather outrageous metaphors, including this:
"I understand that the guy is used to carrying around 275 pounds, but all those straws will eventually add up and push him over the edge, right?"

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

More information about the Ads-l mailing list