A shiver down the backbone of business

One of our news stories today included the following quote:

News of massive cuts in much-needed road and rail infrastructure projects will send a shiver down the spine of an industry that forms the backbone of business in the country

A shiver down the spine... the backbone of business... is this an extended metaphor or just a mixed one?


Vincent said...

It's a mixed metaphor in the sense that the author fails to be aware of the imagery involved in a metaphor; which is the cause of mixed metaphors.

In this case the sentence proposes that a backbone has its own spine.

I suppose journalists are constantly under pressure, to the extent that they don't use metaphors at all, just clichés that once, in less frantic days, were still metaphors.

JD (The Engine Room) said...

Vincent, yes, I agree with you.

While many journalists do rely on clichés, this particular quote came from a trade association spokesman. I probably should have said that in my post...

Smith said...

I appreciate the labor you have put in developing this blog. Nice and informative.