Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Ornery World In The News: Cliche Check

Regular readers (that's all of you, by which I mean The Entire Internet) will be familiar with my clever idea, Cliche Check. For those of you new to this idea (by which I mean anyone who has only gotten online in the past couple of weeks), this would be a dynamically-updating collection of unbearably overused turns of phrase that your word processor, in liason with the Internet, warns you against using.

The idea for Cliche Check remains up for grabs, presumably due to coders quite liking cliches (after all, repetitive phrases work a lot better in computer code than they do in pleasantly-readable English). However the legal fraternity - much of whose code is written in English - is not resting on this one! A blogger reports that his use of the phrase, "Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway"1, is being contested as copyright violation. The fellow is oddly put out by this - Feeling the Need to Squawk About Free Speech and Doing It Loudly - instead of thanking the phrase's "owner" for helpfully pointing out his hackneyed invocation of a desperately overused linguistic trope, that he might simply coin a new phrase of his own.

He also opens with this image, which I believe is in A Child's First Illustrated Dictionary under "Uncalled-for".

As my stepfather once explained: "Cliches are like sweatpants. Like everyone walking around in sweatpants because they just don't give a fuck". There's no need to get in a tizzy just because Susan Jeffers, Ph.D, asks you to put on nicer pants in public.

1 This phrase is the registered trademark of Susan Jeffers, Ph.D.

1 comment:

someonefromsometime said...

all jokes aside i really think this would be a good idea. or at least fun. i mean cliches have won (or lost) so much ground lately that even same something is a cliche IS a cliche.

i hope someone figures out this whole deal.