Comical effect

A metaphor or simile has to walk a fine line. One false step, and it can fall over the edge. This line from a restaurant critic was on the right track until it confused the comic strip “Family Circus” with the magazine Family Circle.

“Circle” and “circus” do sound similar and have common origins. Plus, “Family Circus” is typically told in a circular format. It’s an easy mistake to make. But once in print, the error stands out.