A shoe too far

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There's a nice example of a blended cliché in a post by Patrick Appel on Andrew Sullivan's blog:

A blend of two metaphors for imagining yourself in another's situation — looking at things through the eyes of others and walking in someone else's shoes — this phrase in various wordings has quite a few precedents, not all of which are intended as jokes.  For example, a Phoenix AZ news story about a Spanish/Mandarin immersion pre-school:

"Research has shown that cognitively, they're more open to new ideas," said Diana. "They are able to see the world through other people's shoes because they become more bi-cultural. Languages are always connected to culture."

Or this answer to the question "What are the main differences between the theories of Max Weber and Karl Marx?"

Weberian thinking says that in society you should aim to achieve verstehen, or seeing the world through someone else's shoes.

A design that literally lets you see the world through (well, as reflected in) someone else's shoes is featured here.


  1. Dan Lufkin said,

    December 20, 2009 @ 10:35 pm

    Mr. Appel certainly marches to the tune of a different kettle of fish.

  2. Julia Sullivan said,

    December 20, 2009 @ 11:51 pm

    Patrick Appel, not Andrew Appel. You're comparing Appels to Appels!

    [(myl) Oops. Fixed now.]

  3. Rubrick said,

    December 21, 2009 @ 2:49 am

    I've seen some ridiculous things, and this is just the icing on the coffin.

  4. Tonio said,

    December 21, 2009 @ 3:17 am

    This trend is going to end badly. It's an ill wind that gathers no moss.

  5. WindowlessMonad said,

    December 21, 2009 @ 3:32 am

    Is an eye-sole the person who says it, or how they look?

  6. The effin' bear said,

    December 21, 2009 @ 4:57 am

    Your ignorance of the custom in many eastern societies of wearing one's shoes on one's head, over the eyes, advertises your ignorance in this matter. The writers in question were undoubtedly all aware of this tradition; somehow, the memo has skipped only you.

    [(myl) In my culture, "shoe on head" poses generally leave the eyes free.]

  7. Fred said,

    December 21, 2009 @ 5:52 am

    Might help you look before you leap.

  8. rolig said,

    December 21, 2009 @ 9:02 am

    A small correction: it's not Mr. Appel who uses the blended cliché, but the reader whom he cites.

  9. Plegmund said,

    December 21, 2009 @ 9:18 am

    It makes sense now that the boot is on the other side of my face.

  10. Sili said,

    December 21, 2009 @ 10:10 am

    You really shouldn't throw picnics until you've walked a mile in another man's eyes.

  11. Glenn Branch said,

    December 21, 2009 @ 8:33 pm

    Similar are perverbs, as in Harry Mathew's Selected Declarations of Independence:

    It's an ill wind that's another man's poison.
    A bird in the hand does as the Romans do.
    Man proposes, but you can't make him drink.

  12. Dan Lufkin said,

    December 22, 2009 @ 10:04 am

    I suddenly strikes me that perverbs are the kind of thing that Mark V. Shaney (q. G.) used to come up with. The fact that they can be generated from a corpus via an algorithm is worth thinking about.

  13. Edith Maxwell said,

    December 22, 2009 @ 10:12 am

    Or as we said in graduate school, that linguist is really sticking his neck out on a limb.

  14. David Fried said,

    December 22, 2009 @ 8:55 pm

    Reminds me of the old saw that it's a good thing to walk a mile in another man's shoes. He's barefoot, and you're already a mile away.

  15. Dan S said,

    December 23, 2009 @ 10:35 pm

    MYL gives us a link to the google search for "shoe on head" images, demonstrating yet again that there's a google search for anything you need to prove.

    There's also a website for any preposterous example you want to make. Viz: shoesonheads.com.

    And by "you need to prove", above, I of course mean "MYL intends to prove."

    Oh, and @Rubrick: not to mention the nail in the cake!

  16. Linklog: Bible theft, slippery Dickens, and more said,

    March 5, 2011 @ 11:47 am

    […] When cliches collide. (And yes, I know, before stooping to mock, I should walk a mile through the other fellow's […]

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