The Banned For Life list has been around since late 1996, when I issued a call for insufferable media cliches to the readers of Charley Stough’s BONG Bull, the newsletter of the Burned Out Newspapercreatures Guild. Their replies formed the foundation of a project that has survived seven years of fits and starts.
On Feb. 14 of 2004, it occurred to me that I should rebuild the list under the umbrella of my Web site at tommangan.net. One of the problems with the old list is that I neglected to post dates on when the entries were posted, so there’s no way to know how old they are. Best I can tell you is that everything dated Feb. 14 arrived between December 1996 and February 2004.
Fortunately, these cliches have become such bulwarks of the langauge that the ones we loathed seven years ago remain in wide release today. Next time it rains on the Macy’s parade, see if the newscasters don’t say “Rain didn’t dampen their spirits.” Next time CNN parachutes a news crew into my hometown in downstate Illinois, see if they don’t say how well the latest Beltway follies are “playing in Peoria.”
As for me, I’m a newspaper editor working at the Mercury News in San Jose, California. I’m the keeper of a blog for newspaper editors called Prints the Chaff, and have accounted for some of my misadventures at my home page.
Cliches are like suckers: there’s one born every minute. If you spot one, please send it along and I’ll post here.
I’d like to nominated the utterly hideous “freak/freakin'” pseudo-expletive. It seems to be used by people who are either too wussy or too PC to use good old anglo-saxon. The word they should be using is ‘fuck’ – in my opinion one of the most venerable, useful and respectable words in the english language.