Tags

,

Maybe two!  Internal e-mail from a major pharmaceutical company, December 2017, transmitting news reports on the company’s recent clinical trials:

Overall, a very positive feedback, recognizing the innovation generated at [our Company]. Still, the white elephant in the room are the biosimilars, but the continued innovation generated by us is also recognized by the market in helping us to balance the outlook during this time period.

The metaphor, white elephant, has been killed and revivified as a variant of the metaphor, elephant in the room.  I don’t think either metaphor expresses what the writer is trying to say, if anything.  A white elephant is a precious but useless gift which is burdensome to keep but can’t be discarded for fear of offending the giver.  The elephant in the room is the obvious thing that’s making everybody uncomfortable, but which nobody wants to talk about.  All the writer seems to have in mind is “the important thing not mentioned in these news articles”, which neither metaphor expresses.

There’s also a number problem, of course.

Not to mention “during this time period”.