Thursday, November 5, 2009

Some clichés are less equal that others

Whenever I have difficulty throwing a sentence together, I find it helpful to go over Orwell's famous essay `Politics and the English language' (1946). Orwell hated phrases that have

lost all evocative power and are merely used because they save people the trouble of inventing phrases for themselves. Examples are: Ring the changes on, take up the cudgel for, toe the line, ride roughshod over, stand shoulder to shoulder with, play into the hands of, no axe to grind, grist to the mill, fishing in troubled waters, on the order of the day, Achilles' heel, swan song, hotbed.

Perhaps a few more people who quote Orwell should have read him:

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