Cultural Imperialist

"Scathing Spats on Shallow Subjects"


Sun Aug 20




Fruity Metaphors Have Got to Stop

fruityWe are surrounded by fruit, and something has got to be done about it.

First, the word itself. Fruit. It looks vaguely Gallic, but the sound is more like a phlegmatic easing his airways. Visually, it's a nasty, sickly, mushy word. The real beef I have is when did fruit take over the lexicon? Things started becoming peachy. A reporter might get a plum assignment. Turks and then Frenchmen began wearing banana hammocks. Mothers gave raspberries to babies, or if feeling particularly keen, to Former President Bush. A father's son might be the apple of his eye, and if you were feeling whippish, you could put a cherry on top.

Moreover, one was rewarded for the fruits of labor, and REM's "three miles of bad road" woman might be called a sad tomato. And what the hell is Fruit of the Loom? California is sometimes referred to as the land of fruits and nuts, which naturally brings up gay pride, whose symbol is the rainbow. And what fruity candy's motto is "Taste the rainbow"? The grapes of wrath might be a bitter draught, but an apple a day keeps the doctor away, or so I've heard through the grapevine.

Feeling spiteful? You've got sour grapes. You can buy a lemon but you won't be able to drive very far, especially in the Big Apple. A banana republic may be bad governance or good clothing. Honeydew is the money melon. You can put the lime in the coconut, but that'd make you plum crazy.

It's time to reclaim language from the bondage of fruity metaphors. Let's dispense with fruitastic gymnastics and stick with the practicality of the straightforward word.

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