Back story on Banned for Life

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 One of the problems with the old list is that I neglected to post dates 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’ve 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.

One thought on “Back story on Banned for Life

  1. I hear one of our local traffic newscasters saying almost daily, “That accident at (location) is still going on, and traffic is backed up to …”

    The accident is still going on? The vehicles are still moving and crashing? The resulting traffic jams are probably still in existence, but I doubt the accident is still happening.

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