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Cliché 2.0

The Phrase FreakOh great. It wasn’t bad enough that every hack headline writer forced to slap a four-word précis on an article they didn’t understand has been using this bromide to bludgeon creativity into a senseless mess for years, now some kind of institution that claims to have expertise about language has elevated this linguistic turd by declaring it the one-millionth word in the English language.

If you have to be convinced of the dubiousness of this “institution’s” claims of expertise, you might want to know that their one-million-and-first word is “Financial Tsunami”. What’s wrong with that, right? It’s in wide use at the moment. I totally agree, but if I’m not wrong, “Financial Tsunami” is a phrase, not a word. *

You probably think I’m quibbling; the Phrase Freak lives for the elevation of the noble quibble to a full-length post.

My main concern with this thing (you will notice that I’ve avoided using it as much as possible, but just so we’re clear, it’s “Web 2.0”) is it encourages mediocre thinking and writing. I’ve already seen Medicine 2.0, Library 2.0, Business 2.0, Government 2.0, etc., so I suppose this trend will only continue, and perhaps accelerate now that the progenitor cliché has now been anointed.

This one gets nine gobsmacks out of ten:

Nine gobsmacks out of 10

Alltop and humor-blogs.com are all about Comedy 2.0. You can visit the guilty party, the Global Language Monitor, here.

Cross-posted at When Falls the Coliseum.

*According to my OED, a word is: “n. 1. a sound or combination of sounds forming a meaningful element of speech, usu. shown with <em>a space on either side of it</em> when written or printed.” back


  1. […] in this weekly roundup? Let me know! A hockey player asks me, how green is my motorcycle? Cliché 2.0 Demand letters in a web 2.0 world Free knowledge Green-washing? Or a step in the right direction? […]

  2. Well they have to add new words, then there would be no reason to keep printing new dictionaries each year. 😉

  3. Mark A. Rayner Mark A. Rayner

    A most comulent point.

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