A clutch of cliches

Somebody who won’t share a name will share these annoyances:

  • Insurgent: Apparently, “terrorist” is not politically correct enough
    for the news.
  • Opposition: What is wrong with calling them what they really are—enemies?
  • Campaign trail: What on this green earth is a campaign trail? (Besides
    journalistic nonsense, of course)
  • Innocent bystander: If they’re not innocent, then they’re not bystanders,
    are they?

  • Last legs: Whoever says something is on its last legs deserves to
    have no legs at all.
  • Conflagration: For when “fire” isn’t grand enough.
  • Modalities: No one should ever use “modalities” instead of modes.
    On second thought, no one should ever use “modes” either, except when talking
    about mathematics.
  • Linkage: “How do we say ‘link’ and make ourselves seem well-educated
    and intelligent?” “Let’s slap on a redundant -age ending to provide an extra
    syllable.” “Brilliant idea!”
  • Capital murder: Unless you’re in a courtroom, you have no need to
    ever use this phrase.
  • Enormity: A penalty of great enormity should be put on anyone who
    says “enormity”.
  • Fighting chance: I started to hate this phrase when I heard it three
    or four times in one episode of the show Babylon 5.
  • XXX years young: This hackneyed “inspirational” phrase is used on
    any old person who isn’t dying right in front of the reporter.
  • The King’s English: Thou shalt not use archaic English in a trite
  • Expert: Whenever a journalist says ‘expert’, he really means ‘talking
  • Professional: The word professional used to mean that one did something
    for a living. Now it means almost anything the user wants it to mean. Professional
    car: A hearse by any other name…
  • Funeral director: Wasn’t “undertaker” enough of a euphemism anyway?
    Now people are euphemizing even further and calling these people “grief therapists”.
  • Suspected: Why not just say “accused” instead?
  • Lay the Groundwork: Someone needs to lay the groundwork for this
    phrase’s removal from English.
  • English Language: A poetic and highly overused way to say “English”.
  • Manhunt: Another one of those words borrowed from “policese” by journalists
    that has infected the vocabularies of millions.
  • Like the Plague: Avoid this phrase like the plague.
  • Assaulted: Fortifications and cities are assaulted in war. People
    are hit, or shot, or stabbed, or raped.
  • Suffer a(n) : If you have a disease, how can
    you not “suffer” it?
  • Wardrobe malfunction: Whoever came up with this one ought to have
    an existence malfunction.
  • Think outside the box: This is the cliche I hate the most, no doubt
    about it. It means nothing. It serves no real purpose. It SHOULD NOT EXIST.
  • Safe haven: Is there such a thing as an unsafe haven?
  • Nucular: We’ve had 60 years to learn how to pronounce “nuclear’ but
    people still keep screwing it up.