Quote: "The majority reminds us, in high tones, that a man’s home is his castle, but even under the majority’s rule, it is not his castle if he happens to be absent, asleep in the keep or otherwise engaged when the constable arrives at the gate. Then it is his co-owner’s castle." Chief Justice John Roberts.
Figure of Speech: catachresis (cat-a-KREE-sis), the metaphor gone wild.
Can police search a house if one spouse says "come on in" and the other says "keep out"? No, replied the Supreme Court in a 5-3 vote. Justice Roberts dissented, putting his zippiest writing in a footnote. He used a catachresis ("bad use"), which stretches a metaphor to the breaking point. Most rhetoricians consider the catachresis to be a vice, but Roberts used it ironically to ridicule the majority’s silly commonplace.
The Supremes’ footnotes just went up a rhetorical notch.
Snappy Answer: "Go and boil your bottom, sons of a silly person."