“Mix Apples and Oranges”
The idiom mix apples and oranges is based on the popular belief that the two are incompatible based on their obvious differences. The idiomatic warning to not mix apples and oranges is a caution not to collapse two totally different things into one so as to eliminate confusion or false analogy.
But, consider that apples and oranges are really not all that different. After all, they are from the same fruit family. In fact, there has been at least two studies on the subject that indicate the two fruits are actually quite similar: both apples and oranges were sweet, similar in size, weight, and shape, both are grown in orchards, and both may be eaten, juiced, and so on. And, many languages refer to an orange as a “golden apple!”
So, why not re-purpose the idiom to express the benefits of diversity and encourage creativity and innovation? By encouraging people to mix apples and oranges, we might start generating new approaches to achieving innovative ideas and solutions. For example, one company recently designed software that mixed apples and oranges to teach incompatible computers (Mac and PC) to talk to one another. Mix apples and oranges is a great expression for valuing and embracing the benefits of diversity.
In reality, didn’t Martha Matilda Harper mix apples and oranges:
She mixed women’s public hair care with women’s entrepreneurship and juiced up Harper Industries. Mixing these two seemingly unrelated items (especially for women in the 1800’s), she then invented the ultimate franchise cocktail. Her motivation? She did it to make a difference in the lives of servent women. Her franchise concept provided women destined to a lifetime of servanthood with an opportunity to become entrepreneurs and make a living doing so.
Legacy Women can make a difference mixing apples and oranges!
Learn more about the real origin of the Franchise: