Mix metaphors with pride
Writers complain about mixed metaphors, and the result can be messy or confusing but I confess that I usually enjoy them.
In today’s paper, Clegg is quoted trying to persuade his party that the budget has been influenced by Liberal Democrat views even if the yellow streak was hard to spot. He apparently said that the budget ‘had the stamp of the Liberal Democrats running through it’.
On the face of it, that is a classic mixed metaphor. Stamps don’t run anywhere – but wait! Think of a stick of bright pink Brighton rock! The words are a kind of stamp and they certainly run through the rock. There is a clear, clever and visual metaphor.
Clegg the linguist, with microphones under his nose, may have mixed his metaphors with the skill of a chef; indeed the journalist may have helped him out. More likely, I suspect, it was a serendipitous juxtaposition (bit of luck).
Go on. Mix a metaphor today.