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Mixed-up and mangled metaphors
Apr 21, 2011
Think about it:
• If a bus station is where a bus stops and a train station is where a train stops, what’s supposed to happen at a work station?
• If Fed Ex and UPS merged would they call the new company Fed Up?
• Surveys show that five out of four people have trouble with fractions.
• Why is it that we never hear about “gruntled” employees?
• Do Lipton employees take coffee breaks?
Our language works in many ways:
• I went to a bookstore and asked the saleswoman, “Where’s the self-help section?” 
She said that if she told me, it would defeat the purpose.
• Is there another word for synonym?
• Where do forest rangers go to “get away from it all?”
• One tequila, two tequila, three tequila — floor.
• Atheism is a non-prophet organization.
• If someone with multiple personalities threatens to kill himself is it considered a hostage situation?
• If a parsley farmer is sued can they garnish his wages?
• Would a fly without wings be called a walk?
• If a turtle doesn’t have a shell is he homeless or naked?
• How is it possible to have a civil war?
• Can vegetarians eat animal crackers?
• If the police arrest a mime do they tell him he has the right to start speaking?
• What was the best thing before sliced bread?
A change of phrasing:
• What used to be called “shopping” is now corporately-referred-to as “a significant retail experience.”
• “Messy” is now “organizationally challenged.”
• “Fat” is now “metabolically challenged.”
• “Taxes” are now “revenue enhancements.”
• “Cows, pigs and sheep” are now “grain-consuming animal units.”
Sign language:
• A sign on top of a San Francisco drug store, located across the street from the bus terminal, reads, “Terminal Drugs.”
• Sign in a cemetery: “Persons are prohibited from picking flowers from any but their own graves.”
• In a restaurant: “Customers who find their waitresses rude should see the manager.”
• In a laundry: “Ladies, leave your clothes here and spend the afternoon having a good time.”
• Outside a country shop: “We buy junk and sell antiques!”
• In front of a car wash: “If you can’t read this, it’s time to wash your car.”
• Highway sign: “When this sign is underwater, the road is impassable.”
• A New York restaurant on Wall St., listed hash on the menu as, “Today’s conglomerate.”
• Sign in Germany’s Black Forest: “It is strictly forbidden in our camping sites for people of different sexes (for instance, men and women), to live together in one tent unless they are married with each other for that purpose.”
• In a pharmacy: “We dispense with accuracy!”
• Outside a shoemaker shop: “Our motto is to give our customers the lowest possible prices and workmanship!”
• Restaurant sign: “Open seven days a week, and weekends!”
• In a maternity ward: “No children allowed.”
• At a military base: “Restricted to unauthorized personnel.”
• In a general store: “Why go elsewhere to be cheated, when you can come here.”
• Outside a medical building: “Mental Health Prevention Center.”
• A newspaper ad for a dentist read: “Teeth extracted by the latest methodists.”
Mixed and mangled metaphors:
•“Run it up the flagpole and see if it sticks!”
• “We sure took the thunder out of his sails!”
• “Well, I’m still green behind the ears.”
• “Boy, he’s really rubbing it in our noses.”
• “Yes, that finally broke the straw.”
• “She really hitched her star to his wagon.”
• “He sank to new heights.”