WELL-WORN WORDS

July 30, 2012 by  
Filed under Blogs, Hot Button / Lynn Ashby

CLUB CLICHÉ – The chairman, Bottom Line, brought the membership to order as quick as a New York minute and as sly as a fox. “Welcome, fellow clichés, to the 2012 meeting of the overused, unimaginative and tired expressions constantly trotted out by the rhetorically challenged. It’s good to see some old members such as My Way or the Highway, There’s a New Sheriff in Town and Perfect Storm.”
“I’m here, too,” said Skin in the Game, “and, speaking of ancient axioms, I brought along Redouble Our Efforts and its cousins, Double Down and Take It to the Next Level,”
Bottom Line smiled like a Cheshire cat. “You all certainly qualify for our club’s membership. The first order of business is to say goodbye to some old members who had their 15 minutes of fame but no longer qualify due to lack of overuse.”
“For instance, You Go, Girl and Here Come De Judge?” asked 15 Minutes of Fame. “Not to mention Alpha Male and A List. Frankly, I haven’t heard of Gravitas and Shovel Ready in a long time, so maybe they should take a dirt nap.”
“You’re right as rain, 15 Minutes of Fame. They seem to have been forgotten, but we can all remember when they were a daily dose of repetition. Oh, you mentioned Shovel Ready which reminds me that the current political campaigns have generated any number of yawning clichés. So let me introduce you to Class Warfare and Nanny State. Newt Gingrich ran Drill, Baby, Drill and Drill-Here, Drill-Now into the ground, so to speak, until BP puked up the Gulf, then Newt switched to Elite Media. He used that term in every sentence. Sort of like that 2008 presidential election when every one of Rudy Giuliani’s speeches, interviews and utterances consisted of a noun, a verb and 9/11.”
“Certainly these are overly qualified for redundancy and thread-bare usage,” said Spot On, “but I want to add Vulture Capitalist, which Governor Rick Perry used and used and used until Romney started saying ‘Ooops.’ And we have One Percenter. It’s just about all Occupy Wall Street gave us, that single term, although One Percenter is no kin to Giving 110 Percent which every mouth-breather uses constantly. Also, during the primaries, how often did we hear Run the Table? Every single time a pundit or talking head pontificated about the various GOP presidential candidates winning this primary or that caucus, we heard, ‘Can he run the table?’ And we should send a nice note to Sarah Palin for giving us Lamestream Media and You Betcha!”
The chairman spoke up. “While recalling the 2008 campaigns, I see you down there, Family Values. You are so last election. Besides, when used by Herman Cain and Gingrich, it was hysterical. Next thing we know, John Edwards will renew his constant Two Americas drumbeat. One America thinks he’s a slime ball and the other thinks he’s only a cheating, lying hypocrite.”
Suddenly there was a new old chestnut at the door. “Excuse me, but I’m Climate Change. Is this the meeting of the Used To Be?”
When Bottom Line looked lost, Climate Change explained. “I used to be Global Warming, but in the dead of winter when Buffalo was getting record snow falls, I re-named myself Climate Change. It’s like Liberals are now Progressives. Same thing, only it sounds more, well, progressive. You remember when Rich, Fat Cat, Blood-Sucking Warmonger was around? He’s morphed into Job Creator. It’s the same with Torture. That title was sort of a put-off to most people, but it’s got a new handle, Enhanced Interrogation. No change in water-boarding and sleep deprivation — same threats and humiliations, but today Enhanced Interrogation is welcomed at all the better parties, especially the Tea Party. Gaming used to be gambling and Psychiatrist became Life Coach. Our chairman is the best Used To Be in the club. It was given to us by that same Governor Rick Perry. It is Lean, Finely Textured Beef, once called Pink Slime. Honestly, you can’t make this stuff up. Oh, I see the Pond — formerly the Atlantic Ocean — is motioning to me. Olympic announcers couldn’t live without saying the Pond once a sentence. Our meeting must be down the hall. Ciao – once known as Goodbye.”
“Getting back to who’s In and who’s Out, we salute On Steroids and No Brainer – we are so sick of you two. Give a Shout Out qualifies for membership, as does Real Time. Austintatious and its sister, the People’s Republic of Austin, qualify. Sports writers, announcers and sports talk show hosts are always a gold mine for the aging aphorisms. We have long since brought in America’s Team, Came to Play and Pro Hoops. Now we add Walk Off Home Run, Tebowing and the record-setter for simultaneously being both new and old, Linsational.”
Déjà Vu All Over Again asked to be recognized. “Is there a category for food clichés of the day? We now have gluten free. No one is sure what it means, but it has supplanted fat free, sugar free, salt free, the South Beach diet and low carb.”
“That’s good as gold,” the chairman said. “Next I want you to meet some new members who are new but already everyone is tired of them. First we have Went Viral on the Internet. Note that nothing is ‘very popular on the Internet’ or ‘heavily used’ or ‘even in great demand.’ No, any popular new item on the Internet is always, always Viral. Then we have Outlier. So new, so exhausted. Have you noticed that Writ Large is now in every news story, letter to the editor and column? Let’s welcome Writ Large along with Hashtag. Finally, voted in by unanimous consent I want you meet worn-out phrases that are as stale as day-old bread: Please meet Man Up and his brother, Man Cave. That’s a wrap. All’s well that ends, and remember our motto. Everyone together, avoid clichés like the plague.”

Ashby clichés at ashby2@comcast.net

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