or, stuff that I dragged out of my head

Location: Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada

Friday, March 25, 2005

Ring Piece

I heard a textbook mixed metaphor on Air America Radio recently--it's so mixed it's almost malapropic, a thing of peculiar beauty. The commentator said that someone was so politically powerful that people had to "kiss his brass ring."

Isn't that a doozy? It's a messy collision between "kiss his ring" and "grab the brass ring". I'd be tempted to think that it was deliberate, but the way it was delivered suggests strongly that it was an unconscious mistake, albeit a good one.

And while we're on the subject, here's something that delights me; the word "phony" originally meant "brass ring". It's a variant of "fawney", an Irish word referring to a gilded brass ring sold to the unwary.


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