Scott Hardie | July 30, 2003
Back on TC1 we discussed overused phrases that need to be retired from popular use, such as "wake-up call" and "lashed out at."

I submit "smoking gun" and "the best [something] you've never heard of" as new clichés.

What other phrase are you sick of hearing or reading?

Lori Lancaster | July 30, 2003
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Jackie Mason | July 30, 2003
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Scott Hardie | July 30, 2003
Yes! And I'm sick of it being mispronounced! It's "EE-ber", not "OO-ber."

Jeff Flom | July 30, 2003
I don't know about "EE-ber" but I'm pretty sure that "OO-ber" is at least *a* correct pronunciation.

Erik Bates | July 30, 2003
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Lori Lancaster | July 31, 2003
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Scott Hardie | July 31, 2003
I'll take your word for it. My Literary Criticism professor gave a rant one day about the mispronunciation of that prefix as we discussed Nietzsche's übermensch, and I never forgot it.

Scott Hardie | July 31, 2003
How about "step up to the plate" to mean "take on responsibility"? I use that one too much I think.

Scott Hardie | July 31, 2003
Let's add "tapped," as in "Universal tapped Russell Crowe to appear in their latest film" or "President Bush tapped opposition to same-sex marriage as a political issue."

Anna Gregoline | August 1, 2003
My boss says "well, the bottom line is..." at least 10 times a day. When I can hear her.

Jackie Mason | August 8, 2003
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Scott Hardie | August 8, 2003
More entertainment news terms: "Eyed" as in considered for a part, and "skedded" as in scheduled. I notice that it's only two letters' difference, which wouldn't seem to me to create a whole lot more room in the headline, but it is what it is. Reminds me of the nurses and doctors on "ER" (taking after real medical personnel I presume) referring to a gunshot wound as a "GSW" for short... even though pronouncing it that way adds two syllables.

K. R. | August 14, 2003
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Scott Hardie | August 16, 2003
And is anybody else getting sick of the press having field days with things?

Scott Hardie | August 17, 2003
Listen too for overuse of the word "basically." I'm sick of hearing that one; I once heard someone use it three times in the same sentence, and Jason Fedorow once tallied 36 uses by a professor in 50 minutes. The word has a function, but most people don't use it for that function; they just use it. You can tell when it is superfluous when the sentence would have exactly the same meaning if the word was not used, which is most of the time.

Anna Gregoline | August 18, 2003
Media Groaners

Jackie Mason | August 20, 2003
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Scott Hardie | August 26, 2003
This is not a phrase, but it is an annoying trend that has gone on long enough: Television commercials where the man is lazy and/or stupid, and the woman shows him up by being hard-working and/or intelligent. When is the last time you saw a commercial with the gender roles reversed?

Jackie Mason | August 28, 2003
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Erik Bates | August 28, 2003
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Lori Lancaster | August 28, 2003
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Scott Hardie | August 28, 2003
True, but it's not like men don't buy things too. I get turned off to shopping at a store that advertises like that. Circuit City inexplicably makes fun of men in their commercials, and I'd be surprised if men weren't most of their market.

I first noticed this trend in junior high school, when I became interested in gender equality. I thought it was great that men got put down for a change. Now I'm twenty-five and this trend is seeming really old. Is it still worth it?

I'm not trying to pick on what you wrote, Lori. My enemy is the trend itself.

Scott Hardie | November 25, 2003
Back to the subject of overused phrases that need to be retired...

Two words: "Sea change."

Erik Bates | November 25, 2003
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Scott Hardie | November 25, 2003
It's getting said more and more often by experts commenting on major shifts, such as "This represents a sea change in thinking." Here, have some examples.

Also on my nerves: "Eminently fuckable." (Today's IMDb poll changed it to "boinkable.")

Erik Bates | November 25, 2003
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Kris Weberg | November 25, 2003
"Proactive." This word has absolutely no purpose in existing. It's not the opposite of "reactive" -- that'd be "active," the word for which "reactive" was coined as an antonym. It's a word invented and popularized by people who desperately want to sound smart adn tough, but are clearly neither.

Kris Weberg | November 25, 2003
Also, "frig" or "frigging." If you're gonna say "fuck," do it. If not, accept that profanity isn't called for, and use a non-profane expletive. "Frig," like "biatch," "heck," "dang," and the like, is neither profane nor inoffensive. These words halve the effect by attempting to split the difference.

Anna Gregoline | November 25, 2003
George Bush's invented word, "suiciders."

Kris Weberg | November 26, 2003
Yes, also his discarded (but still occasionally seen) "homicide bombers" to refer to suicide bombers. phrase"suicide bombers" distinguishes them from other bombers by noting that they kill themselves as well as others. "Homicide bombers" distinguishes them from what, all those bombers who just want to sort of hurt people with explosives?

Jackie Mason | November 26, 2003
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Erik Bates | November 27, 2003
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Scott Hardie | November 27, 2003
I also nominate the phrase "tongues wagging," meaning gossiping, as in "Michael Jackson's antics at the press conference set tongues wagging." It's overused, yes, but I nominate it because it's just plain irksome. I can't help but picture it literally every time I hear or read it.

Jackie Mason | November 30, 2003
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Kris Weberg | November 30, 2003
Here's one -- adding "age" to the end of a normal word to make a plural noun. Today at work, two girls came in, and one actually asked the other if she had any "coinage." Because, you know, "change" is such a lame word and all.

Erik Bates | November 30, 2003
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Jackie Mason | December 1, 2003
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Scott Hardie | December 1, 2003
Overdone marketing cliché: Movie posters that come in a set, one for each major character (especially for movies where it's inappropriate, like this one). These posters seem to have an action-figure mentality,: I remember growing up with G.I.Joe, and each year's new series of characters was pictured in a series of action paintings on the back of each toy's package. I first remember seeing this movie-poster trend for "Batman & Robin," so I know it's not new.

Anna Gregoline | December 1, 2003
I hate when they do that with magazines, with one band member on each cover.

Kris Weberg | December 2, 2003
And doing it with the tenth anniversary DVD of Reservoir Dogs was unforgivable.

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