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Next are the mixed metaphors, the inevitable consequence of disconnecting words from images — of not thinking:
The stinging yellow dust grabbed my eyes and yanked.
His fist was released like an arrow from a bow.
My hands began to shake like an earthquake.
The dugout erupted like a broken piñata.
Covered with Christmas lights, our home shines with the beam of a lighthouse.
A third pattern is the keynote: a kind of insistent commentary horning in on the description and crowding out the images. The commentary is always clichéd:
The vibrant warmth of the sun covered the verdant wilderness.
I was awed by the river’s elegant windings.
Dusk is the time to look at the breathtaking sunset.
But often the commentary seems redolent of a cultural narcissism, a weirdly vagrant specificity of self-absorption:
My car’s ignition sounded similar to the boom heard from an F-14 Tomcat or any other jet featured in the classic movie Top Gun.
The sky attained the color of the silver tea set that has been kept in the attic since my grandma died 20 years ago.
A 1973 Buick-sized orange moon fills the evening sky.
Of course, the three patterns, like Greek conditional sentences, can be mixed into bewildering varieties. Here’s a composite served up by one student:
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?
H/T to National Review Online