I investigate words, allusions, metaphors and such that have caught my interest over the years.
red herring I’ve often read or heard this expression, each time picturing in my mind, of course, a bright red fish and wondering what this peculiar fish brought to the meaning of the message. Smelling something fishy about it, I looked up “red herring” in my “The New Oxford American Distionary.” Here’s the entry:
1 a dried smoked herring, which is turned red by the smoke.
2 something, esp. a clue, that is or is intended to be misleading or distracting: the book is fast-paced, exciting, and full of red herrings. [ORIGIN: so named from the practice of using the scent of red herring in training hounds.]
Now I get it!