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.
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 …