Tuesday, October 24, 2006

PV's chronicle of worn-out metaphors: Peter King (2)

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.

Peter King's MMQB Tuesday Edition is up. I don’t like Peter King’s responses to emailers at all. He creates inadvertent Straw Man arguments, in which he misunderstands or misrepresents a comment/question and then argues to that. He demeans his readers with subtlety (usually in the sub-headings) and doesn’t actually bring any insight when responding to viewpoints that differ from his own. He just basically says “no, you’re wrong.”

But that’s not why we’re here, is it? We’re looking for any “metaphor, simile, or other figure of speech which you are used to seeing in print.” Some of these are obvious; others are not. I’m looking for any metaphor or figure of speech used at all. I do, however, avoid metaphoric language that has reached the point of meaning something else. For example, King did say of the Bills that “there’s a lot of building to do.” Now, obviously they aren’t actually going to “build” anything, but build is now an acceptable, concise term for what a franchise needs to do to improve its personnel.

Here are the cliches:

"Lions in winter"

"Father Time"

"__ used to own the ___"

"You never say never with him"

"hire the next mercenary"

"It's always a tightrope ___ walks"

"climb the ladder"


That's 8 cliches in one column. Since (and including) the column in which King made fun of Andre Ware's overuse of cliches, King has used 30. THIRTY.

1 comment:

  1. I am not surprised...I don't really like King as a writer. I like Rick Reilly much more.