Vegetable Technology Special: Language experts confirmed today that news scientists can now make a stick out of carrots means the demise of the "stick and carrot" idiom.
An expert confided:
"Now sticks can be made out of carrots what does the stick and carrot idiom even mean any more?"
Before science's carrot-stick breakthrough earlier this week the idiom meant either:
i) The carrot was an incentive to do something, the stick kept the incentive out of reach - imagine a carrot was held on a string from a stick in front of a donkey's nose while a guy was sitting on the back of the said donkey - the donkey walks forwards towards the carrot hoping to eat the carrot but the stick prevents the donkey from eating it
or ii) The carrot was an incentive, the stick was some sort of punishment.
But experts now point out that if the stick can now be made out of carrots then
in the i) example above, the donkey could just stand up on its hind legs to eat the stick, no longer needing to bother with the delicious carrot dangling in front of it's nose,
ii) If a carrot is an incentive, then being hit by another carrot is no punishment at all if you have a fast enough mouth.