Talking in clichés By Trevor Plumbly
It might be my imagination but we seem to be bombarded by clichés and verbal garbage these days. I don’t know if computers are to blame but modern English seems to have become a dumping ground for mangled definition and totally meaningless little add-ons that contribute nothing towards conversation or educated communication. Of course there’s always been slang of one sort or another, Cockney for instance, but that at least had a heritage factor. Today’s fluffy drivel has no historical or humorous value that I can make out.
A word to the ?
‘Divine’, has lost any biblical devotional interpretation it was intended to convey, it now bubbles off the lips of gushers anxious to stamp their sign of approval on babies, clothing and just about anything edible. ‘Awesome’ now embraces everything from superlatives to bland agreement. At bureau-speak level what about ‘infrastructure?’ A dreadful one size fits all word to save pen pushers describing basic services. And of course, the holy grail for politicians and economists, ‘challenging’, now more associated with imminent disaster than sporting aspirations. The list continues to grow, houses are now ‘units’, patients are ‘clients’, we don’t make plans any more, we create ‘strategies.’ I find it all a bit much really, maybe I need to ‘upskill’ a bit?!
A cliché a day
‘At the end of the day’, mercifully, we escape this verbal torture but then tomorrow ‘it is what it is’ and though it might be ‘a big ask’ we have to ‘move forward’ and look at the ‘upside.’ We can be happy that those not on a ‘living wage’ are still physically with us and those that felt that something was ‘to die for’ didn’t kick it when they got it. I’m beginning to feel the need for a ‘full and frank discussion’ with a ‘trained specialist.’ It’s all too bloody confusing Ange, please come and sort it out. Cheers, T.