We were struck by an item in Tuesday's Monitor about a survey of the most irritating phrases in English. ("Did you have to say that? Identifying trite phrases," April 6.) The British-based Plain English Campaign asked 5,000 of its supporters in 70 countries what they considered the most annoying clichés in English. We noted with alarm that many of the clichés listed had passed our own lips lately.
Action is needed! Monitor readers, are you up to the task? Can you come up with some fresh phrases to replace tired clichés? Send your new metaphors, idioms, or bon mots to:
The Home Forum
The Christian Science Monitor
One Norway Street
Boston, MA 02115
Or e-mail: The Home Forum
Deadline: April 30. We'll publish the best of them in May.
Here are some examples of clichés in urgent need of replacement. (The entire list is at www.plainenglish.co.uk):
No. 1: "at the end of the day."
No. 2 (tie): "at this moment in time" and "like" used as punctuation.
No. 4: "with all due respect."
Others: 24/7: absolutely; awesome; ballpark figure; between a rock and a hard place; blue sky (thinking); boggles the mind; touch base.