TK and the Clichés of Our Day

Ah, clichés — the shorthand of our day. These phrases pack a punch of meaning and give us linguistic shortcuts that are often helpful. But those that are overused and overexposed can get on our nerves. Many publishers develop lists of clichés for writers to avoid — such as the one for the Washington Post “Outlook” section, recently noted by journalist Jim Romenesko. Taken one at a time, these words don’t seem so harmful. But what if these words and phrases were consumed in one sitting? (Then you might need some Dramamine to counter the nausea.)

Imagine what life would be like today if The Other were reality. This is the Rorschach test of our time, which rose from obscurity, underscoring what observers find even at first glance: It is important to note that pundits shutter in an attempt to downplay the facts. They have tapped their opponent, the infamous TK. (Yes, Virginia, there is a TK.)

Be that as it may, increasingly, there is a growing body of evidence that the American people are at an unsurprising crossroads. The iconic TK is efforting even in the midst of fevered speculation. It’s true. With the rise of the 24-hour news cycle, it provides fresh details to his struggle for notoriety in the halls of power.

And when Mr. TK goes to Washington, he will be the Unlikely Revolutionary — nay, the Unlikely Reformer — the one who sparked debate for the shifting dynamics of our time. For this hot-button issue, he dons the mantle even in the face of withering criticism. Good news though: TK is not alone. In a hastily convened probe, the partisans on both sides will join together. It remains to be seen if they will come to a face-saving compromise.

But reality is more complicated due to the dizzying array of charm offensives inherent to the manicured lawns of this tightly knit community. We all know TK is a favorite Washington parlor game. The partisans may call it TK 2.0, but this is no silver bullet, to be sure. The argument goes and begs the question, as many an oft-cited narrative tends to do, opening a rare window for the predawn raid of all that is holy in this society. Going forward, all are sure to be scarred by war. The paradigm will shift to an ignominious end. Yet, it will midwife a palpable sense of relief.

Needless to say, we pity the poor TK, for as a society we are known to depend upon him to think outside the box for those little-noticed Gestalt solutions. Although the situation is fluid, the Grizzled Veteran, the proverbial TK, shines a spotlight on the pushback of this feeding frenzy.

Double down on that stinging rebuke, for TK is no panacea. It is what it is.

There, I said it.

About Erin Straza

Erin Straza (Associate Editor) is a freelance writer, editor, and marketing communications consultant, helping organizations tell their stories in authentic and compelling ways. After a stint in corporate marketing while earning her MBA, Erin taught marketing communications at Illinois Wesleyan and Illinois State. She is crafting her first book, writing from the Illinois flatlands where she lives with her husband, Mike. Find more from Erin at her blog Filling My Patch of Sky and on Twitter @ErinStraza.
E-mail: erin [at] FillingMyPatchOfSky [dot] com
Blog: Filling My Patch of Sky
Twitter: @ErinStraza

  • Nick

    My head just exploded.

  • Erin

    Mission accomplished!