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,
- 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
- 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
- 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.