This little poem-prayer slipped out after reading words by a well known writer who failed to impress. I earlier posted the first stanza on my Plink space, which not even my mother reads, so I thought TFR Fellows and friends might appreciate it, since so many of you are writers. Continue reading
Newspaper people are hyper sensitive to clichés. Editors hate them, writers use them often unaware of what they’re doing, and they are king on television, radio and Internet media outlets.
Take as a case in point, the word, “impacted.” Some people (including supposedly educated news writers) believe you can add “ed” to any word and come up with an acceptable verb. Fox News Chicago’s headline for Jan. 31 was, “Illinois National Guard Soldiers Not Impacted by Riots in Egypt.” I can’t tell you how happy I was to hear that, but not the way Fox News Chicago intended, I’m sure.
If you take any reputable dictionary and look up the word, “impacted,” you’ll see what I mean. The Fox News people intended the word to mean, “affected.” But IMPACT is a much more dramatic word and television writers absolutely love it. All they have to do to get our attention is add “ed” to it and BINGO!
Language is an exact science. Yes, I know many people don’t think so, but teachers and preachers learn early on to become accurate and exact in what they say or write, or they will pay the price. You preachers and teachers out there KNOW this to be true.
The Bible is meant to be understood through the use of language. When the Bible says, “He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved,” (Mark 16:15, 16) that is an exact statement and should be interpreted as exactly as any other.
While I may be sensitive to the use of clichés, as a crutch for the mind, I’m also sensitive to the habit some have of disregarding the science of language to believe just anything. Now, will someone please call Fox News Chicago and ask them if they have a dictionary?
I don’t know how to avoid clichés–know what I mean? I use them to the point of my own irritation. It’s the rare person who manages to avoid them even most of the time.
And just when I thought clichés could not possibly be more meaningless, they come out with texting!
I will not actually repeat them here, but the ones that disturb me the most are those that are filthy. They are used by kids we know on Facebook–kids who claim Christ. They see it as a substitute and not like using the actual word or phrase. Who ever said substitutes were o.k.?? Oh yeah. That was our generation.
Euphemisms have been been used widely by Christians for many years and even from the pulpit. There’s not a single person who doesn’t know what darn, heck, and shoot replace, yet we have treated them as acceptable.
Now for the reigning king of phrases that irritates me most. I have heard, “Oh My God,” to the point of nausea. It’s typical use involves a mindset of gossip, lust or materialism. This is no way to treat the holy name of our Creator. Let’s work to depose this phrase from it’s throne!
What cliché do you hate the most? You know, that overused phrase, that standard reply, that combination of words that so easily falls from the lips (oops, cliché!). It may be a literary phrase, it may be a popular saying, but one that irks, annoys, or otherwise irritates you.
Remember, a cliché is a trite or overused expression or idea. When first coined, it was the cat’s pajamas. With time, it provoked yawns.