Charlie Stough included the following in his latest BONG Bull:
URGENT APPEAL. A Canadian hack who avoids hackneyed words and phrases like the plague (his own description) asks, “How about an appeal in a future BONG bulletin for a moratorium — no, make that a total cessation — on the use of overworked words in print?
“What happened on Sept. 11, 2001 was ‘horrific.’ A car crash on a highway, however, sad that it takes three or four young lives, does not
compare with 9/11 in enormity but it seems ‘horrific’ has become the buzz word used by hacks to describe any tragedy beyond an ordinary event involving death or destruction.
“Icon: What did we use before we had this one? How often is it used in its proper meaning?
“And, one we see a lot: Coffers. Isn’t a word which used to describe containers for holding money in bygone years a bit antiquated in this
day of accounting by computer and instantaneous transfer of sums around the universe?
“I’m sure you and your many devoted readers can come up with many more words and phrases currently being grossly overworked and/or beaten to death on the pages of newspapers today — not to mention the electronic media.”
Yes of course, whatever we can do to ease the burden of our Canadian hack brethren. We never hear the word “hustings” until election time, when it becomes an instant cliche. “Warchest” is another of the same ilk, and we don’t mean warch, warcher, warchest. Who whistles at a
“whistle-stop?” And when was the last real stump seen at a “stump
speech?” Would the Secret Service let a candidate even climb onto a stump, and risk being nipped by a termite?