The Clichés Killer

Orin Hargraves is, by self-designation, a “cliché-killer,” out to divest the English language of as many clichés as possible by highlighting their illogic and ridiculing their stupidity. Excellent cliché hitman though he is, he realizes that the job cannot be done with anything like thoroughness and that most clichés will live on; he even believes that some clichés deserve to do so, if only because they can put people at ease by their informality and familiarity. “None of these judicious uses of cliché,” he writes, “if kept in check, is objectionable.” He distinguishes between clichés and proverbs, and he does not regard as clichés those idioms that do the job of precise expression more economically than lengthier phrasing, among them “shed light,” “leaps and bounds,” and “part and parcel.” His larger intention here is to bring about a greater awareness of the inanity of most clichés and to point out “the detriment that they typically represent to effective communication.” Joseph Epstein, weeklystandard.

P.S. All'inizio dell'articolo c'è una barzelletta simpatica.

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