Friday 22 September 2017

Buzzwords and clichés - but hey! Is it a huge ask to roll out an uncoupling?

Maybe it's time to consider using simpler expressions in our everyday language, writes Dr Declan Collinge

IT’S ONLY WORDS: Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin described their divorce as ‘uncoupling’
IT’S ONLY WORDS: Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin described their divorce as ‘uncoupling’
Katie Price is fond of using the phrase ‘at the end of the day’
Ralph Nader reputedly coined the term ’whistleblower’

Dr Declan Collinge

'It is a cliché that most clichés are true, but then, like most clichés, that cliché is untrue!' (Stephen Fry)

It is impossible nowadays to avoid the buzzwords and clichés which assail our ears on a daily basis in the media. They are as common today as young men's beards. A buzzword is defined as a word (or phrase) often originating in technology or business, which then rapidly gains currency through repetition. Modern clichés follow the same pattern.

The provenance of both can generally be identified. For example, in sport: 'Step up to the plate' (to move near the plate for striking the ball which is pitched in baseball). Or in science: 'A window of opportunity' (from Nasa's reference to a launch window).

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