The Declarer (Floyd McWilliams' Blog)

Thursday, October 16, 2003


It's Fractured Metaphor Day at the San Jose Mercury News letters page:

Contestant 1:


If you believe the pundits, California was like a train heading to a bad place. A majority of people on the train (voters) decided to oust the engineer.

The new engineer has appointed a transition team of passengers, many of whom were responsible for the train going to a bad place. What's insane is to expect the replacement engineer (Arnold Schwarzenegger) to take the train (California) to a better place with the same old passengers running the train.

Robert Prentiss
San Francisco


Aren't people on the train called "passengers"? Do passengers run the train? Not the last time I looked. And isn't all of this moot because a train goes where its track leads it? I mean, have you ever seen a train make a right turn, or turn around?

Note Prentiss' helpful hints in parentheses. Robert, I can understand metaphors -- as long as they come from literate human beings.

The next entry is pithier, but not more comprehensible:


No more paint

The president has painted our nation into a corner in Iraq and is asking for more paint.

Congress must not approve his $87 billion request without an account of what went wrong and what will be done differently now.

Gregory Faris
Menlo Park


So if $87 billion is paint, then George Bush must have originally painted himself into a corner in Iraq by means of ... a lot of money? No, he invaded Iraq with America's armed forces.

Traditionally, people who have painted themselves in a corner are in trouble because they can't move -- not because they want more paint.


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