In the course of a week it is estimated that average U.S. adults hear something like 120 clichés from TV, radio and conversation. So when you hear these same clichés about the 150th time, it can be a little irritating. Let's examine just a few of the most common "remarks".
AT THE END OF THE DAY - Politicians and pundits use this phrase over and over. In these short winter days the day's end comes quickly. Does this mean everything should be settled after one day or does the end of the day mean sometime in the future where the speaker cannot be tied down to a definite date?
WHAT MOST PEOPLE DON'T REALIZE – This is a comment that is so common and certainly portrays the speaker in a superior position. In other words I know, I understand but most of the multitude of the unwashed aren't capable of the same level of comprehension.
INVESTMENTS BY THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT – Our president and many Democrats want to refer to all spending as investments. Instead of calling the unbelievable increase in entitlements and pork spending what they are, let's dress it up and call everything investments. Individuals and businesses learn quickly not to make investments if you are bankrupt. Our government solves this problem by borrowing and printing more money.
CORPORATE WELFARE – What a brilliant sounding phrase that is the favorite of so many economic illiterates. The next time you hear this, demand an explanation or some examples of corporate welfare. The liberal I visited with responded by saying, "Well, there is depreciation and all these write-offs companies get when they move operations overseas" (the latter comment came directly from Obama during the campaign). Depreciation simply means writing off business expenses over time, and as Romney explained to Obama there is no such write-off for corporations moving overseas.
ENOUGH BLAME TO GO AROUND - You can bet your bottom dollar (a cliché) that when you hear this, the speaker or writer knows he or his party is 95 percent guilty but this is an opportunity to put part of the blame on the other side without directly admitting full responsibility.
TEA PARTY ACTIVISTS – Liberals of all stripes do their best to portray the
Tea Party as right wing nuts and outright racists. This has the advantage of taking the emphasis off the real problem which is too much government debt and spending, too much government regulation and simply too large a government at both the federal and state level.
KICK OLD PEOPLE OUT OF NURSING HOMES - This is a comment issued by Governor Beebe, members of his administration and several Democrat state legislators. This scare tactic was put out to show all of us the lack of sensitivity of these mean ole Republicans. Now the governor and his cohorts have backed away from this threat and they now agree with Republican leaders that the shortages in the Medicaid program can be solved with more reasonable means.
LIBERAL MEDIA – This worn out phrase is used by many of us to describe a factual situation that is no longer debatable. We need to accept this as the inevitable when 90 to 95 percent of media vote against Republicans. Let's not continue to compliment these liberal ideologues by referring to them as media. They are partisan hacks.
TAKE ALL THE RAIN WE CAN GET – The weather people have a multitude of overused clichés One of my favorite pertains to the clown who, in the middle of a record drought proclaims, "Not much chance of rain but we will take all the rain we can get." Does this mean we might take only one-half the amount we get?
RICH MUST PAY THEIR FAIR SHARE – This has been the battle cry for our community organizer for the past five years. Before legislation passed in the first days of 2013, the top five percent of taxpayers paid something like 40 percent of all income taxes. For the affluent, recent changes increased the marginal tax rate on regular income by 18 percent and by 58 percent on dividends and capital gains. Is that enough or who gets to say what is the fair share?
We can probably conclude that all of us are guilty of overusing clichés. There are some among us that concentrate on original thinking or at least invent their own clichés. Why do you suppose Rush Limbaugh has 22 million listeners? Instead of hashing out copycat phrases he refers to the wild members of the NOW gang as feminazis and that word is now part of the lexicon of American language. There is a lesson in there somewhere and perhaps it's "be original".
(Jerry Jackson of Heber Springs writes his "conservative viewpoint" column each Wednesday)