Warren Rathbone nominates:
This one was old even before the film came out, but now it seems any time any person of any position dealing with any government or organization of any other nation becomes suddenly “lost in translation” the minute there’s even the smallest hint of unforeseen delay or error. Here’s to hoping that future headline writers who think of this outrageously clever turn of phrase “lose their fixation.”
One from yesterday’s mail:
I loathe the use of the phrase “ on steroids” to denote an abundance or excess of something.
Can’t think of a quote at the moment, but you’d know it if you heard it used again and again, as it has been overused during the past two years. Come to to think of it, any use of this detestable idiomatic (and idiotic) expression constitutes an overuse.
Holidays bring out the trite in writers everywhere. What say we banish this banality for all time:
“Christmas is just around the corner.”
The fact that I removed a “Tis the season” from a story just yesterday tells me my work is not done here.
I’ve got a big batch of nominations to catch up on. Here are some greatest
hits from the Banned for Life inbox.
Byf would ban:
Outage: A term coined by power companies to sound like a power “failure” is not their fault.
Adam Trotter laments the Dance of the Hours:
Considering he only has thirty seconds per appearance, it’s odd that my morning TV weatherman wastes 10 of them on:
- “around the noontime hour“
- “through the morning hours“
- “during the peak commuter traffic hours“
and so on. If I had all the hours he implies, I’d have time to bake my own bread for my breakfast-hour toast.
- Evil: Evil seems to get the most play when used to mean “people our government doesn’t like, and thus doesn’t want you to like.” The term rarely gets used to describe the “friendly” countries/regimes that have
tremendous records of blatant human-rights violations.
- The Superlative: The news is full of the biggest, best, smallest, fastest, strongest, weakest, most horrible, etc. It’s one thing if the thing in question has been carefully measured, compared to all others of it’s ilk
and demonstrated to be the most X, but quite often the superlative is used just to add emphasis. This situation is made even worse when you realize that it’s often applied to utterly subjective or otherwise unmeasurable terms,
such as “most corrupt,” or better yet, “most evil.”
“These make me puke,” Fred Bradford avers:
- “at this juncture“
- “slippery slope“
- ‘”Christian” anything — implying “good anything”
Judi Burger shares:
I would like to put forward my pet hate: utilise. When did “use”
Lyle R. Rolfe muses:
What ever happened to said? Now people say “I went” and “he went” and “I go” or “he goes“, for said. And to make it worse, journalists are quoting people saying this. If the reporters don’t do it, I believe editors should pull the quotes and paraphrase with said when they see these quotes in a story to keep the bad habit from being repeated. And it’s not just the youths, but highly educated people who talk this way.
Silas Prophet returns with this annoyance:
As a retired Federal employee I’ve been subjected to endless variations of Gov-speak, but one that I now see often in other milieus is “buy into“. Whenever new processes or production strategies were introduced, managers were instructed to get the workers to “buy into” the new concepts. I’ve always felt the phrase was a bit condescending, as if the workers were pieces on a game board to be surreptitiously manipulated.
Oftimes that phrase is heard in reference to sports, as in “Phil Jackson had to get Shaq and Kobe to buy into his ‘triangle offense'”.
I would be pleased to see us buy out of that cliche.
(previous Silas contribution here)
Ben Hunter shares these irksome UK expressions:
- “It’s not big, and it’s not clever,” so goes the cliche, but it doesn’t bother me quite so much as its mutations do:
- “It is big, and it is clever,” is often heard during TV show about cars.
- “It’s not big, but it’s certainly clever,” is often found in reviews about pocket-sized, Japanese gadgets.
- “It may be big, but it’s certainly not clever,” is often used to describe school bullies, gorillas and anything else that is large and never graduated high school.