From Frank McNally’s column last week:
“…New metaphors were badly needed at the time. As long ago as 1999 – probably during a wet day on Hope Street – I called elsewhere in this paper for the decommissioning of the peace process’s “deadly arsenal of clichés”.
This included an estimated 40,000 windows of opportunity, 50,000 variations on the theme of moving the situation forward, and perhaps half a million phrases to describe nothing happening: including such foreign imports as “log-jam”, “stand-off”, and the French-made “impasse” (which was smuggled in, probably via Libya, during the late 1980s but never deployed properly because most broadcast journalists lacked the necessary phonetic training).
And this was only the more recent material. If you went back further, there was any amount of other stuff lying around, like those old jokes about the “Carmelite and the ballot box” and the need to take “all the nuns out of Irish politics”.
Rust might have made these unusable, I thought. But even so: most newspaper readers would not rest easy until the material was put permanently beyond use. I recall wishing that we could just dump all the clichés “in a big hole somewhere, and pour concrete over them”… ”
Look, nobody said that all of the NaBloPoMo content had to be original.
McNally is doing a pretty good job in general with the Irishman’s Diary. My measure of success here being that the person reading the paper can’t resist reading bits of the column out to the other person in the room, and this happens on a recurring basis.
Yeah, he’s a genius.