Thursday, October 26, 2006

PV's chronicle of worn-out metaphors: Peter King (3)

In "Politics and the English Language," George Orwell's first rule of good English usage is “Never use a metaphor, simile, or other figure of speech which you are used to seeing in print.” We now seek out writers who overuse such uncreative language.

I'm giving serious consideration to starting a new blog just for chronicling metaphors. This is an extensive project that I'm willing to devote time to, but it sure is cluttering up this blog, that can be about other things. What do you think? Should I keep the chronicle here, or start a new blog to house the chronicle? This would be my fourth stinking blog, so I don't know if I want to do it, but we'll see how the project continues. Seriously, let me know if that's a good idea or if I should keep it up here.

Here are the figures of speech from Peter King's Weekend Pickoff. These aren't all metaphors or cliches, but they are common figures of speech. Using so many typical figures of speech is the sign of an uncreative writer (remember that using metaphoric languages and images can be good in writing, but borrowing worn-out phrases is usually bad). And take note: though I am only counting each once, some of these statements include two cliches/figures of speech or more in a single sentence.

"I am falling for"

"the nucleus of"

"Any second thoughts"

"our insurance policy"

"John Abraham didn't exactly turn into Cal Ripken when he migrated south, did he?"

"you can hear the Jets say "I told you so" all the way from Long Island."

"a miracle drug"

"McNair playing like he's 46"

"doesn't have quite the same ring"

"What a difference 20 years makes."

"I've got to give props"

"flavor of the month"

"Matt Leinart was still in the womb when Brett Favre started making fourth-quarter comebacks in the NFL, but they'll be peers up in the tundra, each throwing for 350-ish."

"Whoda thunk it?"

"playing with the fire of"

"the Jets lost 900 to nothing at Jacksonville three weeks ago, and the Dawg Pound will be revved up now that they've been emancipated from the offense of Maurice Carthon."


"will tap me on the shoulder"

"the most insufferable hype machine in the history of televised sports"

Since (and including) the 10/23 column in which Peter King referred to "Andre (I Never Met a Cliché I Didn't Like) Ware," King has used 49 cliches, metaphors, or figures of speech. FORTY-NINE.


  1. Yeah, Matt Leinart is an amazing 14 year old QB in the NFL. I get the gist of his little statement, but cmon at least say something like Matt Leinart was picking his nose and sorting his football cards during recess when Brett Favre started making 4th quarter comebacks in the NFL.

  2. Peter King picked the Cowboys to beat the Panthers this weekend so I am loving him at this moment.