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Host: Scott LaMar

Smart Talk: The use and abuse of cliches

Written by Scott LaMar, Smart Talk Host/Executive Producer | Aug 19, 2014 12:46 PM

What to look for on Smart Talk Wednesday, August 20, 2014:

Its been said before cover 300 x 170.jpg

There is a growing body of evidence that we use cliches in our everyday speech more than we even realize.

It's not like we have to search for cliches like they are a needle in a haystack because they're a dime a dozen.

Before this post becomes one long cliche, let's look ahead to Wednesday's Smart Talk.

Appearing on the program is lexicographer Orin Hargraves, author of the new book It's Been Said Before -- A Guide to the Use and Abuse of Cliches.

We won't check to see how Webster's Dictionary defines a cliche, but make no mistake about it, most people probably already have an idea of what a cliche is: a word or phrase that is over used in speech or in writing.  Others may add that cliches don't take much original thought to use.  Still one other note -- some may find cliches annoying.

On Wednesday's program, we'll discuss the origin of some of the more popular cliches, what they actually mean and ask what are your favorites or maybe the ones you really don't like.

OK, this post has reached a tipping point so tune in.

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Comments: 15

  • Radio Smart Talk img 2014-08-20 08:25

    Jim in York emails:

    When I listen to speakers, it isn't Cliches I notice. It is verbal pauses. Wish I had a dollar for every time I've heard, "Ughhhh" during this interview.

  • Radio Smart Talk img 2014-08-20 08:25

    Doug in Red Lion emails:

    Some management types roll their own clichés by stringing together big words they have heard. For example: We must now begin utilizing our overarching paradigm. (Huh)?

  • Radio Smart Talk img 2014-08-20 08:28

    Spike emails:

    I listen to the news a lot. The first thing that came to mind was when journalists began using the word "inside" where "in" is just as meaningful. "inside Afghanistan." Nowadays, I get piqued when an interviewer asks a question and the interviewee begins the answer with, "So,.."

  • Cindy img 2014-08-20 08:41

    Television network news anchors have started using the phrase, "Let's take a listen."
    Be it a cliche or be it jargon, it is annoying!

  • Radio Smart Talk img 2014-08-20 08:44

    Anson in New York emails:

    Scott overuses clichés. Ones that kill me are:
    'I was just going to say that.'
    'I have to say...'
    'Most people would think that…'
    'I was just wondering if...'
    'I want to bring up…'

  • Radio Smart Talk img 2014-08-20 08:45

    Kim emails:

    Years ago DUH was so overused it was infuriating. I am so glad it went away.

    PS--This was difficult to write without using several more clichés.

  • Radio Smart Talk img 2014-08-20 08:47

    Michael in Harrisburg emails:

    "Is tired old cliché, one"? -Steven Wright

  • Radio Smart Talk img 2014-08-20 08:51

    Kim comments on our Facebook page:

    Listening now... Great show! My mom always uses "you know" as a filler and I always respond "no, I don't know!"

  • serenabdst img 2014-08-20 08:57

    This whole conversation reminds me of the "late great" George Carlin. He was the master of just tearing apart silly cliches, double meanings, double speak and indioms.

  • Radio Smart Talk img 2014-08-20 08:58

    Spike emails:

    I worked for Book of the Month Club at the beginning of its decent into the Maelstrom. I knew we were in trouble when our supervisor said, "going forward" because it meant she had been in meetings with upper management.

  • vince phillips img 2014-08-21 06:52

    Perhaps this was mentioned yesterday but the author called his Oxford resource from which he calculated the numbers of idioms/cliches the "Corpus". Corpus means body. Since we're not talking about a physical body, he is referencing a body of knowledge. Nice idiom, Mr. Hargraves. Your presentation was the cat's meow. Or did I mean to say it was to die for?

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