Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Money, mouth, literally, figuratively

In a Chronicle of Higher Education article about Betsy DeVos, Donald Trump’s choice for education secretary, Margaret Spellings, president of the University of North Carolina, describes DeVos thusly:

“She’s been an education-reform warrior and has put her money where her mouth is, literally and figuratively, for a very long time.”
Literally and figuratively? I think I know what Spellings might mean. To put one’s money where one’s mouth is to “back up one’s opinion with action.” So Spellings might mean that DeVos has worked to shape education policy and has put money toward that end. She has backed up her opinions with action — and with money.

But money, mouth, literally, figuratively: it all sounds odd, and kinda disgusting. You should never literally put your money, or anyone else’s, where your mouth is.

Related reading
All OCA idiom and metaphor posts (Pinboard)

[Definition from The American Heritage Dictionary of Idioms (1997).]

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