10 clichés to ditch this holiday season

Turkey and all the trimmings. Grinches and Scrooges. Should wordsmiths dump these tired phrases now—before we start writing seasonal copy?

Political communication is notorious for platitudes and hackneyed phrases, but the end of a bitter election cycle doesn’t mean a respite from the onslaught of clichés.

Brace yourselves, America, for the annual avalanche of verbal chestnuts as the holidays approach.

As they say, “‘Tis the…” (Wait. No. Sorry.)

Last month John E. McIntyre, an editor at The Baltimore Sun, penned his annual anti-cliché diatribe, hoping to set the wordsmiths of America on the right path before “Deck the Halls” and “We Need a Little Christmas” start ringing in the rafters of every shopping mall.

McIntyre’s yearly exercise in futility is doomed as surely as “the white stuff” (a phrase he proscribes) falls every December up north. That shouldn’t stop writers and editors, however, from resisting our own worst impulses.

“Some readers (and, sadly, some writers) lap up this swill,” McIntyre growls. “It is familiar, and the complete lack of originality comforts them.”

To read the full story, log in.
Become a Ragan Insider member to read this article and all other archived content.
Sign up today

Already a member? Log in here.
Learn more about Ragan Insider.