Orwell Watch #13: More daily offenses.


A few more everyday clichés brought into focus by Inkwell Strategies, and then picked up by Mediabistro, with a twitter invite for more submissions (#feedbackfriday).

My top three from the list:

Paradigm:  “Somewhere along the way people decided that this multi-syllabic buzzword was a quick and easy way to sound smart without the grunt work that comes with actual thinking. How many times have you heard a significant event be mislabeled as a ‘paradigm shift’ when in reality it’s nothing close?”

“The American people” – “Any statement that lumps together more than 300 million people is a gross over-generalization, if not completely false—so why do politicians insist on using this term? The label is rhetorically lazy because there’s bound to be more specific common ties within an audience than the mere coincidence of being born in the same country.”  I agree with the writer who said “the phrase is purposefully exclusive. By squeezing everyone together under one umbrella, people who don’t fit are left out in the rain.” But my reasons are different – I think it is said precisely to marginalize opposition.

Literally – “’Literally’ used to be a useful modifier that helped differentiate between real and figurative language, but now it’s merely a pre-emptive adverb for teens and tweens who don’t want their audience to think they’re lying. It’s literally an epidemic.”

From Mediabistro’s Twitter feed:

@TiffanyJWatts “Gamechanger”
@JeremyDGoodwin “Incentivize” Can we add “Prioritize” to this one?
@GablePR “Basically,” “Scandals ending w/ -gate or -meggedon”
@TheIdeaIsIn “Out of the box,” “State of the art”

Any others you’d like to add?

One Response to “Orwell Watch #13: More daily offenses.”

  1. Quid plura? | “Now half the world hates the other half…” Says:

    […] The Book Haven marks the “Orwell Watch” with several sad cliches. […]