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Chapter 6. Mixed metaphor is a question of deliberateness

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Abstract

This paper aims to explore the interaction between mixed metaphor and deliberateness in order to throw some new light on the nature of mixed metaphor. The basic claim is that the typical or strongest experience of mixed metaphor arises when two metaphors conflict that are both used deliberately as metaphors. It is likely that all other cases of conceptual clashes between adjacent metaphors do not get recognized as mixed metaphor because their components are not used deliberately as metaphors. Whether the clash between one deliberate and one non-deliberate metaphor can elicit the experience of mixed metaphor is an in-between case that is also discussed. The gist of the paper is, then, that research on mixed metaphor needs to take into account the variable communicative status of each of the presumably clashing metaphors, making a distinction between their deliberate or non-deliberate use as metaphors.

References

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