Re: Most annoying word--what's a cliche, anyway?

Subject: Re: Most annoying word--what's a cliche, anyway?
From: Dick Margulis <margulisd -at- comcast -dot- net>
To: Peter Sturgeon <prsturgeon -at- yahoo -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 01 Mar 2006 14:21:57 -0500

Peter Sturgeon wrote:

--- Kathy Nemaric <kjnresearch -at- gmail -dot- com> wrote:

When I worked at a dot com, the content managers had to pay a 25-cent
fine for every cliche they used

A family friend, when I was little, had a household rule that every inappropriate use of the word _thing_ cost a quarter. And I'm talking the early 1950s, when a quarter was a week's allowance. Things have names.

In the early 1970s I worked in a butcher shop where we provided a sandwich every day for lunch to a delivery driver for the local beer distributor; in exchange, he provided a six-pack (from his two-case-a-day breakage allowance). We paid a quarter to take a beer. The money went toward the annual Christmas party, and the boss chipped in the rest.

What makes it a cliche? By many definitions, being "overused."

Interesting word, cliché. I was perusing a book yesterday that I was given for Christmas, _Booktopia,_ and it mentioned that cliché derives from the imitative sound, cliche [kleesh], of wet paper matrix being dropped onto metal to make a stereotype mat. Can't be, I thought; the word must be older than than the stereotyping process. But, no, when I looked up the etymology, that is in fact what it comes from. So here we have a printing process--stereotyping--used to make a copy of made-up page in hot metal, which then becomes, in English, a metaphor for treating members of a class as copies of each other; and then the sound--heard only by the relatively small number of newspaper printing craftsmen who've ever made stereotypes in France--of one step in the process becomes the word we use to describe an expression that is used repetitively (as a stereotype is when it is used to print the newspaper). Betcha didn't know that, didja?


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Re: Most annoying word--what's a cliche, anyway?: From: Peter Sturgeon

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