Don't Throw the Baby Out with the Bathwater
By D. C. Sistrunk
(This article first appeared here in August of 2005.)
Admittedly, I beat up clichés rather badly in my last post. However, in all honesty, I had a blast doing the research on this topic. The “groaners,” which you often hear in news broadcasts, made me laugh and convicted me. Yes, it’s true. I, too, can be lazy when it comes to writing. By the way, if you want to snicker and read dozens of offending clichés, you’ll find them at http://www.newswriting.com/groaners.htm
I had just as much fun checking out what I call garden-variety type euphemisms. Most of the phrases I know originated in the United States, but some surface from other countries.
Cliché: If you get the sense, then chuck the tense
Explanation: If you understand what the other person is trying to say, don't bother worrying about how they say it.
Ah, the color of language. Here are some of my favorite clichés:
Life is a bowl of cherries
God willing (and the creek don’t rise)
Working my last good nerve
Dogs have masters; cats have staff
His mouth is writing checks his body can’t cash
Got a favorite euphemism? Consider this “Cliché Central” for the day. Post your favorite (or least favorite) figure of speech, along with an explanation, if needed.
Tags: Cliches, Writing, Journalism, Public Relations, PR, Media by Sistrunk