Friday, January 23, 2015

Avoid these cliches like the plague

From the January 9 edition of the Times Literary Supplement:

In NB of November 21, we drew attention to words that are found in particular phrases but rarely encountered elsewhere: the "riddance" from good riddance being one. We offer a clutch of further examples. Can you use "arrant" beyond its nonsense? Does "bode" do anything besides bode ill or well? Are any days other than past days "halcyon"?, anything other than weather inclement? Kin sometimes appears without "kith," but not the kith without the kin. Is anyone every "raring" to do something other than "go"? Buildings that were once raised from the ground are later "razed" to it; but little else is razed. You "wend" your way back, not forward or sideways. Aspersions can only be "cast"; betide is never without woe; a "grail" is only holy. What was a "whammy" before it was doubled? Thanks to Eric March of Queensland, Australia---hoping this finds him in a fettle. You know the one: never good, satisfactory, all right, or indeed poor; only fine.

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