A New Contest

The inimitable Kathy Shaidle notes: “Ever notice how video tapes are forever “surfacing”, like legendary sea monsters?” It put me in mind of other bits of media shorthand from people with spellcheckers who laugh because Dan Quayle can’t spell “potato” but who are too unimaginative to stop borrowing the same terminology from each other endlessly. Thus, Bush “lacked gravitas” they all said, with all the originality of a herd of independent minds. Likewise, have you ever noticed that buses always “plunge” in accidents? And sources always “reveal”. And, of course, Rush Limbaugh has three names (“Conservative Rush Limbaugh”) but Dan Rather is just “Dan Rather” not “Liberal Dan Rather”. So: my contest. Name as many other journalistic cliches and unthinking bits of jargon as you can. Use the comments box and have fun. Let it amuse you over the weekend while I’m out eating ribs and blowing things up at my brother’s house.


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