As a writer, I admit to being more cognizant of language than many people. I’ll also admit to being somewhat protective of the English language because it is my powerful tool and vehicle.
Consequently, I have decided that the ongoing abuse of our beautiful language justifies the creation of a cliché dictionary. For those who seek peer approval, social acceptance or merely adopting words and phrases that are chic or cool or trendy, the dictionary will be useful and available.
For instance, anytime someone suggests that they will “reach out” to someone else, I shudder and want to be the curmudgeon to suggest that they must have very long arms. Or when I hear the word “epic” to describe a ski pass or football game, I am inevitably tempted to ask the name of the epic’s poet.
It goes on and on. When I hear someone say that they have “tons” of problems, I want to ask about transporting many thousands of pounds. Another one is “at the end of the day.” This one makes me wonder how long that person’s day may be. And we always have the old trite standards that include, “drinking the Kool-Aid” and “thinking outside the box.”
My next thought is that I wonder if it’s an honor or insult to have a favorite word or expression in my cliché dictionary. The reactions can range from, “I love this expression – I’m glad it’s in the CD” to “I detest this expression – I’m glad it’s there so I can avoid it.”
Be certain that I have no serious intention of publishing this dictionary because it would need constant updates and I would probably sell no more than twelve copies. But please feel free to point out my reckless inclusion of a trite, clichéd expression and be assured that I do everything possible to avoid its use. Shalom.