There are a number of perfectly good phrases which have become tiresome through overuse. I will name a few that come to mind.
"At the end of the day": During the Supreme Court arguments on the Bush vs. Gore case concerning the disputed 2000 election, Chief Justice Rehnquist kept using this phrase over and over till it became nauseating. He seemed to be trying to convey the impression that he was carefully considering the case and would make a reasoned decision. However, when the decision came out, it was obvious that the Court had made a fool of itself, at least the so-called "conservatives" on it had. These "conservatives", who usually preached state's rights and a hands-off approach in the federal system to interfering with what a state is doing, all voted to overturn the result which had come out of Florida, and make Bush the winner! And they did it on very flimsy grounds, with their political motivation being obvious. I doubt the Court will ever fully recover from this debacle.
"of late": Local sportscaster Bruce Haertl likes to use this, and it is a decent phrase, but when I heard Bruce use it twice in one sentence, that was too much!
"run the table": Here again, used often in sports talk, and is a decent metaphor from the game of pool. However, it has become stale through overuse.
"24/7": I have heard this used and it never applies. It cannot apply, actually, unless you are a computer rather than a human being. Let's retire this cliche.
The reader is invited to nominate other cliches which are due for retirement.
Two quotes from yesterdays USA Today:
"I hope they get the right house." Said by Treva Buckles, next-door neighbor to Lori Drew, the women in Dardenne Prairie, Missouri, whose nasty MySpace messages drove a neighbor girl to suicide. I hope they get the right house also, what this woman did was absolutely despicable.
"I don't give a damn what the numbers say." Mike Ditka, talking about reports that his charity formed to help needy former pro football players has collected $1.3 million, but paid only a paltry $57,000 to former players in need. Uh, Mike, don't the numbers pretty much tell the whole story here?
Linguistic tools for the supervillain
2 hours ago