Friday, May 3, 2013



NOW I have a name -- "CRUTCH PHRASE" -- for the target of the activity I indulge in when I'm at a meeting, speech, reading articles, and sometimes, just in a group of people: I make notes of the cliches, bromides, chestnuts, old saws, platitudes, banalities, trite and hackneyed phrases that I hear and read.

How many BLOG articles have I written about the yawn-inducers? See "THE CLICHE POLICE" here or go to the search box on this page to view: 18 "CRINGE" articles, "FAMILY MOTTO", "IT IS WHAT IT IS", "A FRIEND IN NEED", PATTY'S P-U-YUK FILE", "THE RULE OF THUMB", "WRITER MANQUE", and "HACKNEYED".

Just yesterday someone said, "every nook and cranny" and I grabbed a pen and paper and then I read it in a BLOG!


An overworked figure of speech, such as, inter alia, "at the end of the day," or "it is what is," "thinking outside the box," or "leverage our resources." Crutchphrases are a common refuge of speakers who have difficulty articulating ideas or concepts without reflexively using jargon and cliché. Often relied upon by powerpoint-user speakers who simply repeat what is already printed on the Powerpoint slide.

The use of a crutchphrase is often an open admission of an unwillingness or inability to think, let alone use language effectively.

"At the end of the day," the speaker droned, "we have to think out of the box if we are to successfully leverage our resources." Note the split infinitive.

"But," protested a listener, "you're not making any sense at all, you're just babbling a bunch of crutch phrases!"

"It is what it is," replied the speaker, retreating to the safe territory of a crutch phrase.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I used your family motto the other day! ML