A spokesman for the UK's Department of Food and Rural Affairs seems to be indicating that either DEFRA, the UK population or the whole of humanity are due to say goodbye to planet earth in 2043.

A Defra spokesman said: “We are committed through our 25-year environment plan to eliminating avoidable plastic altogether by the end of 2042 so we leave our planet in a better state than we found it.

MSN UKnews

Is there a word (or phrase) for using a familiar idiom (such as 'leave it as you find it') in such a way that it is ridiculous ?

Sample sentence :

_______ is the misuse of an idiom which leads to a ridiculous statement.

  • What would have been a clearer less ambiguous message? "...by 2042 our planet will be in a better place than when we found it in 2017/18"? – Mari-Lou A Feb 23 '18 at 14:16
  • A euphemism, probably. – user067531 Feb 23 '18 at 14:21
  • The closest I can think of is a "mixed metaphor" but that doesn't quite fit here. – AndyT Feb 23 '18 at 14:21
  • @Mari-Lou A Now that does sound pun-like. – Edwin Ashworth Feb 23 '18 at 14:25
  • 3
    I don’t think this is a duplicate, and this is not a mixed metaphor. VTR. – user067531 Feb 23 '18 at 14:35

Malapropism - noun - an act or habit of misusing words ridiculously


"We plan to leave our planet in a better state than we found it". Hum. So you found your planet in Rhode Island and you are leaving it in Texas ?

  • Just random "states". – Coolde Feb 23 '18 at 17:48

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