June 16, 2013

Considering cliché with William Giraldi and Terry Colon, Ctd

Image thanks to Terry Colon here.
William Giraldi breaks it down an gives a nomenclature of cliche that had bedded itself into the common phrase:
"And so we come now to Eagleton’s own language. One requires a counselor to help explain how someone so attentive to the words of others can often be so frivolous with his own. If Eagleton had sent a cliché constable to patrol his streets of sentences, we'd have been saved assault by the following hoodlums: “pulling out all the stops,” “a hair’s breadth,” “packs a formidable punch,” “stuffed to the rafters,” “the skin of his teeth” (three times), “random thoughts,” “one fell swoop,” “without rhyme or reason,” “a thin line,” “stuck in their ways,” “the tip of the iceberg,” “tender hearted” (with an AWOL hyphen), “load the dice,” “only skin deep” (twice), “something to be desired,” “bare bones” (twice), “safe haven,” “by the sweat of his brow,” “dreams of grandeur,” “bleeding-heart liberal” (at least it has its hyphen), “head over heels,” “out of thin air,” “paper-thin,” “the best of both worlds,” “rags to riches,” and “cheek by jowl.” Please don’t ever wed “beyond” to “pale” or “shed” to “light”—Eagleton presides over those delinquent nuptials twice apiece."
William Giraldi in the Daily Beast in full here.

One of my favorite cartoonists out there is Terry Colon, the man responsible for the image above and for many other great works. In his blog post 100 % Pure Cliche, Terry considers his critique of cliché and the regurgitation of stock phrases among American sportsmen:
"So, what am I getting at, you ask. Not much really. I'm not anti-cliche. It's just shorthand used over and over to answer the same questions asked by reporters over and over about similar things in sports which happen over and over. In some ways it's like a ritualized event. Nobody, the reporter, the athlete nor the viewing fan, expects much more than a cliche which is taken with a grain of salt by all. Nobody expects fresh and articulate off-the-cuff answers to stale questions, rehashing subjects that have been thoroughly hashed out before. 
After all is done and said, athletes aren't wordsmiths, they're not Dr. Johnson or Groucho Marx or anything like. As the new most popular sports cliche goes, "It is what it is.""

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