Friday, June 22, 2007

Last Time I Checked, Overused Figures of Speech Should Be Thrown Under Buses

Don't ever use the expression "last time I checked" when referring to something obvious, well-known, or widely believed. You come off sounding both arrogant (it's a bit of a sarcastic dismissal) and dumbly folksy (it's vaguely self-deprecating--sort of). I see it in discussions, blogs, and sportswriting. It's simply far, far too overused, and therefore should be avoided.

Jason Ivanitz of the Crookston Daily Times (Up North Rube Cred) writes: "Last time I checked, sports were about teamwork and all coming together for a common goal."

The Betting Fool of the San Francisco Chronicle writes: "Last time I checked, a closer's 'job' is to close games, not lose them."

Mark Soltau of Golf writes: "Last time I checked, this was a golf tournament, not an audition for the toughest U.S. Open course in the event's 107-year history."

Adam Schein of Fox Sports writes: "That's the organization known in circles as America's Team last time I checked." I think it is also Schein's response in a mailbag here: "Last time I checked, you didn't have to play football to have an educated opinion on it."

Anthony Arroyo of the Journal-Advocate writes: "Sure, you may say 'it’s only Arizona,' but that same Arizona team does lead the National League West, last time I checked."

Jim Reeves of the Star Telegram writes: "Those of us who live in glass houses--and last time I checked, that just about covers most of us--shouldn't even think about picking up a stone."

The way it looks, everybody is doing a lot of checking, and they're making sure to reference the last time they checked.


  1. Robert Griffith says told that the Vikings quit trying in the 41-0 loss against the Giants in 2000. It was in Sid's column today...not that we are suprised or couldn't have already guessed that they had given up, it was 41-0.

  2. Anonymous9:02 AM

    Last time I checked, you weren't checking out enough. You were only able to cite six sources checking their asses out, so that doesn't necessarily make it a an overused, annoying cliche.

  3. Anonymous12:21 AM

    Nothing wrong with it, if it's really obsolete it will die out. That's all.

  4. haha I see what you are stating, that sentence has been used a lot and it is very popular nowadays, and last time I checked, there was no problem with that LOL