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What are mixed metaphors?



Mixed metaphors are different metaphors occurring in the same utterance, especially the same sentence, that are used to express the same concept.


Mixed metaphors often, but not always, result in a conflict of concepts.

Examples (English)
  • The following sentences illustrate a mixture of the argument-as-journey and argument-as-container metaphors. The first three sentences are acceptable; the last two are marginally acceptable.

  • At this point our argument doesn’t have much content.
  • In what we’ve done so far, we have provided the core of our argument.
  • If we keep going the way we’re going, we’ll fit all the facts in.
  • ??We can now follow the path of the core of the argument.
  • ??The content of the argument proceeds as follows …

  • Source:

    Lakoff, G. and Johnson 1980 92, 95

  • Kinds
      Here are some kinds of mixed metaphors:
      Mixed metaphors are a kind of

    Lakoff, G. and Johnson 1980 92, 95

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