After a long debate in plenary session, in which, sadly, speeches were made rather than questions asked, the ruling executive has decided not to ban “outwith”.
Apparently the entire Scottish legal system would collapse if the working party’s proposal for a ban went ahead, and no Scot would be able to utter an intelligible sentence.
Outwith outwith, [...]
An American called Laura writes to say nice things about my Banned List book, and encloses a cutting from The Wall Street Journal: “Boehner drew a line in the sand over the debt ceiling.” Delightful.
Meanwhile, there are more things that I have to ban.
The Prime Minister has written a dreadful article for The Daily Telegraph today, which the newspaper has insulted elegantly by putting below Boris Johnson’s column.
It is not just that it seems to have been compiled by someone with Tony Blair’s memoir on one side and my Banned List of clichés on the other. Although the [...]
My attempt to curb my enthusiasm for banning things – the world and her husband seems to agree that it is bad for my health – has weakened. Ten more items to be added to the Supplementary Banned List:
Uptick. Thanks to David Eades for nominating this.
Game on. Terence Blacker.
Direct descendant. Amol Rajan. (There is no such [...]
The time has come to add another 10 items to the Banned List. I told Padraig Reidy that the Committee would not accept “drink the Kool-Aid” because, although it is a cliché in America it is simply baffling to most people over here, who have forgotten the story of Jim Jones in Guyana, and is [...]
In emergency session over lunch, the Committee considered the request from Lynsey Hopkins to ban headlines starting with, “Sorry, but …” Offences asked to be taken into consideration this week were:
Sorry, Shirley Williams, but I have to nail your health bill myths (Guardian)
Sorry, but religion ought to be marginalised in public life (Spectator)
Sorry, gentlemen, but [...]
To my surprise, my campaign against cliché turns out to inform political judgements. Clichés really are a good indicator of lazy, unclear and wrong-headed thinking. The notable quotation from Vince Cable’s leaked letter to David Cameron about industry policy (pdf) was that the Government lacked a “compelling vision”. If that is the most interesting thing [...]
I feel like banning something, so here are 10 more words and phrases never to be used again.
“The reason why”; “the reason is because”; “the simple reason being”. Thanks to TakeItOffTheBill and Sussex Oracle.
“Drill down.” (See illustration.) Gail Boserio.
“Unpack” to mean discuss at greater length. Gail Boserio.
To be “across” something.
“Enviable curves”; “leaves little to the imagination”* and “flaunt”. [...]
Politico has identified seven dreadful clichés of campaigning in and commenting on the Republican primaries. Some of them (“It’s the economy, stupid”) are already on my Banned List; some of them are US-specific (“Democrats fall in love; Republicans fall in line” — when choosing their nominees); but the following are going on the Supplement that I [...]
I heard Justine Greening, the Transport Secretary, on Newsnight last night and for no reason at all, apart from “across the piece” and “going forward”, decided it was time to list the next 10 in my supplementary Banned List, which I have been compiling since the publication of the book — now available for a bargain £5.01 as a Kindle [...]
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