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the heat of the peak

July 1, 2014

In today’s Independent, Steve Richards writes: “…Balls, who has been exposed to the raging heat at the peak of politics for his entire career…”

I enjoy Richards’ thoughtful political columns, but this unfortunate mixed metaphor bears witness to the speed at which he must have to bang them out. Peaks aren’t places where you’d expect to find heat raging (except at the peak of a volcano, perhaps, which probably wasn’t the image Richards had in mind). When heat rages it does so at the centre of things, as a rule – at the centre of the Sun, the Earth, a fire, a blast furnace, and indeed a volcano. What’s more, a mountain peak is a lonely place, nothing like the crowded jostling competitive arena of politics. So really Steve Richards should have said: “…Balls, who has been exposed to the raging heat at the centre of politics for his entire career…” And then it’s a great image. 

I will write more about mixed metaphors another day. 

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