Arguably, as cliche's get mangled, they stop being cliches and get
injected with new life. My favourites along that line:
"He's a few bricks short of a picnic."
"In today's fast paste world ..."
That last one is brilliant social commentary. While it'd be nice if
students avoided cliches, maybe we should ask them to invent new ones
instead and fail the ones who can't. But, that won't be happening any
time soon even though it's a doggy-dog world.
Quoting Russ Hunt <[log in to unmask]>:
> Like Betsy, and Tracy, I was a little surprised to find a request for
> cliches yielding student howlers . . . but cliches do generate that
> kind of thing disproportionately: they're where metaphors go to die, eh?
> Scott Adams (Dilbert) has a newsletter which regularly reports the kind
> of amazing (or amusing) misuse of cliches and formulas people are
> talking about here -- the results of not considering what the dead
> metaphor actually meant before it gave up the ghost. In last May's
> issue, for instance
> (http://www.unitedmedia.com/comics/dilbert/dnrc/html/newsletter63.html), he
> claimed his readers had actually heard all of these (among others):
> "…the cream of the corn".
> "…too many cooks in the broth."
> "Looks like I've spent the day chasing a wild herring! "
> "We are the glue that keeps things moving. "
> "Fits like a charm! Wait..fits like a shoe? "
> "That guy is running around like a chicken with his legs cut off."
> "It just like stealing teeth from a baby."
> "It’s like the rooster guarding the hen house."
> "That guy doesn't have a spine to stand on."
> "You're barking up a dead tree."
> "That's my sixth cents, for what it's worth."
> "That's not his cup of cake."
> He doesn't, though, usually include the simpler ones like "tow the
> line" (for "toe the line") and "baited breath" (for "bated breath" --
> were you baiting us with that one, Roger, or did you use the wrong word
> My nomination for the current most-overused cliche is the one that I
> think ten percent of CBC news items currently ends with: something
> won't happen "any time soon." Listen for it.
> -- Russ
> Russell Hunt
> Department of English
> St. Thomas University
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