Words And Phrases
I am unlikely to read Jonah Goldberg’s new book, The Tyranny of Cliches: How Liberals Cheat in the War of Ideas. It’s not that I object to Jonah Goldberg in particular and it’s not an ideological issue — it’s that there’s a ton of other reading I’ve got queued up, a ton of writing I’m trying to get done, and a lot of day job pressure on my time and mental energies. By the time Mr. Goldberg’s new book would make it to the top of my queue, it’ll be stale. So I’ll have to make do with his lively NPR interview.
My favorite moment: college students reciting Evelyn Beatrice Hall’s now-famous false quote referencing freedom of speech — the student recites the quip as a means of expressing disagreement without articulating the reason why, and the statement may very well be untrue. Whatever you think of Goldberg, he’s on strong ground when he observes that a lot of what passes for political thought and debate consists of little more than the slinging about of slogans, bromides, and platitudes. I think he’s on less strong ground to claim that the left does this more than the right, but all the same, reciting a cliché is not the same thing as articulating thought, or even being moderately clever.
So here’s my question to you all: what phrase comes up in discussions of serious and important issues which best illustrates to you that your interlocutor has not actually thought about what it is that they are saying?I’ll get the ball rolling with “pro-business policies.” What does that phrase mean? Nothing, when you really think about it. Not to mention that there are very few people espousing “anti-business policies.”
Image source here.