You hear it not infrequently – “sales are stagnant.”
Or some variation thereof. And I think most of us take phrases like that for granted.
Not your friendly neighborhood cartoonist.
No, these heroic folk seize upon under-explored verbiage and say to themselves, “Ha! Now there’s something that needs to be poked fun at! Sentence-ending prepositions be darned!”
Then they get down to the hard work of free association.
“Hrm … Stagnant sales … Stagnant … Perhaps a stag? No … Stag-nant party? No … Aha! You know what’s also stagnant? Swamps! Eureka!!”
One sales graph and a few stink lines later and all is well again!
“Hooray!” shouts the local populace!
“Hooray for the cartoonist!”
This often generates fear in the entire company.