As writers, we’re told to spell properly, punctuate correctly, and never, ever mix our metaphors. But more than once, I’ve asked myself the question “why?” about that last one.
What’s wrong with mixed metaphors in writing? They’re sort of unpopular in the same way dandelions are: grammatical weeds that need to be torn out of the lawns of sentences. I understand, generally speaking, why they’re wrong. They can make it difficult to comprehend what’s being said. But, if you use a mixed metaphor, and people still understand you, does that still make it wrong? Do we really need to get out the weed-killer and douse those little suckers?
Can we let one or two go, just to add fun, yellow color to the writing lawn? I just feel so bad for them . . . no one appreciates mixed metaphors. And no—I’m not looking for license to use them constantly. In fact, I hardly ever do.
It’s just that . . .
When the battle of life has beaten you down, and you’re hanging by a thread, sometimes you have to stop and smell the dandelions
But what are your thoughts on mixed metaphors? Do you hate them? Love them? Love to hate them? Let me know!
(Top image by christmasstockimages.com)