Jacinda needs to fire her speech writer

Jacinda Ardern needs to fire her speech writer. Her most recent speech yesterday at Waitangi mixes two metaphors. For those of you unfamiliar with the term, a metaphor is an implied comparison that we make in order to aid understanding.

It is a figure of speech in which a word or phrase is applied to an object or action to which it is not literally applicable. It is when we use one thing to represent or be symbolic of something else.

For example I could describe Cam’s stroke as a mountain he must climb. His challenge is not literally a mountain, but climbing a mountain is symbolic of something difficult.

When someone mixes their metaphors they mash two symbols together in a way that is incongruous or ludicrous. That is what Jacinda’s speech writer has done.

“And yet the distance between us is still to high, we have more to do.” [sic] “Equality is our foundation, but it is not our bridge.”

[…] Ms Ardern finished her speech saying the gap between M?ori and those who came after could be bridged, and she would keep working towards that.

“We will keep building the foundation to bring our two houses together.”

Building more foundation for a house makes it higher; it does not bring houses together.

A bridge between houses, on the other hand, will bring them together.