recently, there’s been a torrent of letters to the Daily Telegraph expressing rage at the cliches and linguistic nightmares that dominate modern life. they do read as though they are all written by ‘Disgusted of Tonbridge Wells’ – but they do often have a point. Here are a few:
Added Bonus; Close proximity; New innovation; First invented by (all tautologies) In a very real sense; From the get-go; Quantum leap; A robust national debate (what’s that when it’s at home?) (cliches) Focused instead of ‘concentrating’; In the workplace instead of ‘at work’; To cut a long story short instead of ‘briefly’; to plan ahead instead of ‘plan’ “Nonsensical corporate names created by compounding words, as in “Travelodge” and “Parceline”. What exactly is to “trave” or a “parce”? Andwhatiswrongwithagapbetweenwords?”
One thing that really gets to me (and i know full well that i’m guilty and hypocritical about saying this) is: ‘There you go‘ – what does this MEAN?
It has all got me musing (inevitably) – about Christian cliches/tautologies/vacuous phrases and the dangers therein. So, i’m being a little naughty and perhaps provocative – but let’s banish these once and for all.
‘move into a time of worship‘ – why move into anything (gives the (false?) impression of spontaneity) and worship (well what were we doing in the moments before we moved into it, quite apart from the rest of the week)
‘I’m truly blessed‘ – well yes, as Christians we are amazingly blessed – just look at Ephesians 1 to see that. But most of the time this is not what people mean. Usually it is that they’ve got a nice house to live in or decent job to go to – makes one wonder what they think is going on when Christians have neither a roof over their heads nor any job go to.
‘God loves you anyway‘ – why anyway? What’s all this about then, eh?
‘Let’s just pray‘ – to be able to pray at all is an amazing privilege – there’s no ‘just’ about it.
More suggestions, anyone?