In Which I, At the End of the Day, Discuss Breathlessly

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Promoted by AE because it's close to the end of a long day and we all need a laugh--not to mention a reminder to blog wisely. And you had me at "literally..."

Ah, blogging. It's so ... bloggy. Snarky. Tasty.

... repetitious.

The time has come to discuss the elephant in the room.
Robot Nixon!Everything is faster these days. The world wide web has made the world a smaller place. In so doing, it has created in us, the bloggers, a new and, in many ways, more powerful force for change than ever has been seen before on the face of God's green earth or in the history of the known universe!!

How is it, then, that change is so laborious, so plodding, so delayed?

"With my mighty robot powers, I can get sick of things much quicker than you humans." Bender - Futurama

Clichés: They surround us, envelope us, suffocate us.

Now, I realize some clichés will never leave us, so I'm not trying to stir up a hornet's nest. I also realize I use clichés in my blogs and comments like anyone else; I won't ignore the beam in my own eye. But like Bender, bloggers can get sick of things quicker than normal offline folks. We can ruin things faster too. The collision of blogs with political and popular culture is the perfect storm of bad writing. The fact of the matter is, it's high time to address some clichés that have become so overdone as to be positively grating. Faint heart never won fair maiden, and so I will shoulder this onerous burden.

But, let us mince words no more. It's time to take this to the next level. I have put together a list which I believe represents the worst of the worst. The absolute, blogtastic and spectacular list of abused words, phrases, idioms, analogies, synonyms, and good old fashioned red-blooded clichés.

I bring to you now, in all its glory ...

The "New" List of Tired Old Clichés:

In Which I: In which I suggest that the "in which I" construction has had it's 15 minutes. Really. In which it was enough. In which it has been beaten to death. In which it is so tiresome, even mocking it is annoying. I must stop this breathless tirade, however, and MoveOn.

Breathless: Breathless prose, breathless objections, breathless reporting. I don't know if this is a result of Global Warming, but I think it is high time we get some air back. I've had it up to here. Start breathing, ladies and gentlemen. No more breathless ... ness. This abused adjective has literally lost all meaning.

Literally: The word literally is literally being drug in the street and shot every five minutes. It has literally been corrupted worse than William Jefferson (D-La). It has literally gotten up at 11:00 PM, half an hour before it went to bed the night before, ate cold poison for breakfast, licked the highway clean with its tongue, worked 28 hours at mill, and paid the miller for permission to work, and when it got home, its father beat it to death with a broken glass bottle and danced about on its grave. I literally need people to stop using literally as if it literally is the word figuratively or virtually the same as virtually. That is, quite literally, Enough. Of. That.

Single. Word. Sentences.: We. Have. Got. To. Stop. Doing. This. Sure. we. like. doing. it. Yes. I. can. hear. the. emphasis. in. my head. But. for. goodness. sake. literally. everyone. is. doing. it. Talking. thus. is. sure. to. leave. us. breathless. It's. time. to. quit. while. we. are. ahead. We. don't. need. period. gate.

Gategate: Watergate. Filegate. Chinagate. Plamegate. Rathergate. Hookergate. Troopergate. Zippergate. Piegate! (That last one was personal. Steal my last piece of pie, you get a gate named after you). Yes, those were single word sentences. Is this literally the only way to explain that something is a scandal anymore? Has it come to this? Tired. Of. It. It's time to retire the gate suffix. Gate is the new breathless.

New is the new old: 30 is the new 40? Google is the new Microsoft? Unless boring is the new interesting, it's time to put this out of its misery. Purple is the new pink? Really? Purple. The new pink. The. New. Pink. Really?!?? REALLY???!??!?

Really?: Really? Are you really going to use really? You're really going to do a bit that Amy Poehler and Seth Meyers literally tied to a pole and lashed to death ... Really? Blogs don't really have to take the fall for this, but, here's a hint: we really can put a stop to it.

Here's a Hint: Here's a hint, shut up! Affected sarcasm and anti-hip hipness are, of course, uber hip. We all do this, but, here's a hint: when you beat something to death, the affected unhipness is replaced by actual unhipness. Not. Cool. Here's a hint: Your "snark" is the new "lame".

"Clever" use of quotes: Meh. Let's face facts. This "cliché" is essentially immortal. It makes our "points" seem "smarter", it's "subtle" and people "like" it. It's the "sarcasm", stupid.

It's the laziness, stupid: This one isn't used around these parts as much. The kossacks still find it a useful convention but then, kos kids aren't exactly known for great "conventions". This one needs to be literally destroyed. And yes, I have been ending each of these items with a segue to the next item on the list. Figured that one out all by yourself, did you?

Figured this one out, did you?: The purpose of a phrase like "figured that one out all by yourself, did you" is clear. It's supposed to be sarcastic and cutting; a biting indication of the target's Johnny-come-lately status in re whatever topic you're breathlessly discussing, but here's a hint: when it is a used-up, washed-out cliché, the bite is gone. Old "sarcasm" is the new embarrassing comment, stupid. At the end of the day, it just doesn't get it done.

At the end of the day: At the end of this list is the one that grates the most on my nerves. At the end of the day ... what? "WHAT?" What at the end of the day? Better yet, why at the end of the day? Do you really want to keep using this? Really?!? Or how about "when it comes right down to it" or "when it's all said and done" ... I'd like to know it was going to stop. At the end of the day. Today.

I think you get the point. Like my blog on homos, it's about "sounding" smart, stupid.

Far be it from me to beat a dead horse. I know there are more out there, but I leave it to my "numerous" and "clever" commenters to fill in the blanks.

Seriously. Some of the clichés? They've. Got. To. Go.

In which you all shower me with comments:

Sorry. For. Violating. The. Single-word. Sentence. Thing. Though.

Diplomacy is the art of saying 'Nice doggie' until you can find a rock.

absentee, this is a fantastic (but sadly, small) list of the ways that we, the posters, can ruin a great site.

I never quite understood the draw of the one word sentence.

I will, however, quit using 'Really?' LOL

I'm glad I only violated that one (well I'm hoping that's the case).

Texas Proud and Texas Loud

You really think that is the case? That's really your one cliche?

That's cool.


I'm going to have to go reread my blogs and then become fond of RP and his followers.

Texas Proud and Texas Loud

You may have heard of a fellow named George Orwell. He is not quite as funny as absentee but he does make quite a few of the same points. It is not that long and a good read. A Politics and the English Language

I make it a point to re-read that essay at least once a year.

Although I have been guilty of a few of these myself. At the end of the day, in particular.

"No compromise with the main purpose, no peace till victory, no pact with unrepentant wrong." - Winston Churchill

I hadn't read that before. He described exactly how I wrote just to pass english classes.

I've never understood where "meh" came from.

Don't quote me on this but I think it's from online gaming.


Being one of them, I can tell you it's used's shorter than "whatever". IMers on the whole are a lazy bunch.

Semper Ubi Sub Ubi

something "is your friend"

example; Punctuation/reply-to-this/spell-checker~~~>"is your friend".

oh yeah, and also "Friend", my friend.

Jim Tomasik

A slam dunk.


My pet peeve in this regard is "with all due respect" because we know there is no respect coming.

Freedom of Religion not Freedom from Religion

With all due respect, Jaded, I have to say ... thanks!


Freedom of Religion not Freedom from Religion

I'm hopelessly predictable.

As with anything, the constructions you note above are somewhat useful, if used sparingly.

You can say that again. We're seeing eye to eye.


but thoroughly enjoyed the blog

"O fate most cruel to be thusly boned! Ask not for whom the bone bones - it bones for thee!"

Seriously, mega-props for the use of the wise tones of Bender Bending Rodriguez.

It's just like making love. You know, left, down, rotate 62 degrees, engage rotor...


Of course, advice is worth what you pay for it, IMHO.

Hopefully, it's not a non-starter for you. Or a deal-breaker.

[Note to self: this comment is certified content-free.]

There is more stupidity than hydrogen in the universe, and it has a longer shelf life. - Frank Zappa

"Of course, advice is worth what you pay for it, IMHO."

Of course it is. You know: Priceless!


you are hilarious!
You really should come up with something equally as good for Super.Tuesday.
With all due respect, that day is going to leave me just literally breathless.

"It is our choices that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities." ~Professor Dumbledore

If indeed Super Tuesday is the light at the end of the tunnel, then God willing, I will shoot for the moon.

As we have been incessantly reminded this political season:
Hope. Springs. Eternal.


"It is our choices that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities." ~Professor Dumbledore

For that I make no apologies.

If I type other cliches with regularity, shoot me...It won't be the first time...God willing, it probably won't be the last.

Texas Proud and Texas Loud

breathlessly fisk your complaint, sometimes with.


Let it not be said that stylegate infects RS.

Cliches are the new attack dog of the irremediably cranky. Here's a hint: what you call "cliche", we call zesty commentary attuned to the mores of our times. Now some people do not want to make the effort to understand popular culture and just want to stay stuck in a rut. It's the laziness, stupid.

So the new media have inspired diffeent modes of expression. Figured this one out, did you? We're happy for you!

At the end of the day, it matters not one wit. The RS users insist on the right of free expression.



Dude, this is as priceless as your previous classic, "Homos". Your position in the RedState Posting Hall of Fame is assured.

The Unofficial RedState FAQ
“You are not only responsible for what you say, but also for what you do not say. ” - Martin Luther

And since you know you cannot see yourself,
so well as by reflection, I, your glass,
will modestly discover to yourself,
that of yourself which you yet know not of.

    - Shakespeare

... I figured, what's more cliché than someone receiving laurels responding with Shakespeare, right?

Priceless? Really?


Well, I didn't SEE a price - are you charging admission now? ;-)

I gotta pay closer attention to this stuff. I'm supposed to do a presentation for a huge group of Europeans next week, and when I use American colloquialisms, the non-Americans get rather confused.

The Unofficial RedState FAQ
“You are not only responsible for what you say, but also for what you do not say. ” - Martin Luther

Your comment reminded me of another overdone cliché. To wit: Pot. This is Kettle. You're black, over. I think the pot and the kettle have had their day in the sun. Who uses black kettles anymore anyway? Mine is stainless steel with a digital readout. Oh, and I call it a microwave.

You also reminded of my homos blog, but that matters not one whit.

Really. No, really.






Should we add the kowalski thing to the cliche list?...just kidding kowalski

Fred08 - Contribute Now

"Talk about" is one of them too. :-)

What we need in a leader is to tell us not what we want to hear, but what we need to hear.
Fred Thompson 2008
==== 13 ====

I'm guilty of perhaps every single one of those. And I will continue to violate because, well, if SOMEBODY does not provide fodder for absentee, then life would be most dull indeed.

And I'm trying to provide a little contrast in the comment section by not using any of the cliches on the list. And it ain't easy brother.

Good job absentee! Dang, you're weird....

Stare decisis is fo' suckas -- Feddie

I am weird. You took the words right out of my mouth! But yes, your comment was a horse of a different color.


...jumped the shark.

The heart of the wise inclines to the right, but the heart of the fool to the left -- Ecclesiastes 10:2

"It is our choices that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities." ~Professor Dumbledore

I agree completely, Charles. Keeping in mind the origin of the "jumped the shark" tradition I propose:

"Killed Off Mulder"

To try it out in a sentence.....

NBC really killed off mulder with the stupid stunt of turning off studio lights to encourage Americans to conserve energy.


Stare decisis is fo' suckas -- Feddie

I'm not voting for Ron Paul because it's not expressly prescribed in the Constitution.
-- Mark Hemingway, The Corner (NRO)

They still have time to nominate Hillary, after all.

Literally. Worship. You.

At the end of the day, this is by far the finest piece of writing to date on the Web. This needs to be promoted everywhere.


"When men fear work or fear righteous war, when women fear motherhood, they tremble on the brink of doom; and well it is that they should vanish from the earth." - Teddy Roosevelt

"absentee is to love as wind is to fire, it extinguishes the small and kindles the great."

It boils down to this: That. Comment. Ruled.

It literally made my head explode. But hey, that's why I make the big bucks.


... is one that immediately springs to mind. The 1980's was the worst decade ever for cliches. The one I hated most was "at this moment in time." I even heard people extend that to "at this point in the space-time continuum", and these were people I worked with, not Carl Sagan.

Seeing that this is on the front page now, harumph and ahem and other such sounds.

The "dance about on the grave" bit is, of course, Monty Python. It's an agglomeration, so no link.

To research usage, I visited wikipedia,, and of course, the all-powerful Google. Google is the new think. I also tried Cliche Finder.

Oh, and I sought input from my Dad. Par for the course, of course.

I didn't, after all, want to put all my eggs in one basket.


but it doesn't get any better than this.

Envisioning when all that is Left is the Right.

I KNOW I'm "guilty as charged" for the overuse of certain effects. But I can't help it. I'm addicted to short stub-sentences. And long paragraphs (but let's not go into that, at least not right now),

And to parenthetical phrases. And to starting sentences with "But." Oh yes, "Oh yes," too and Well.

I'll try to do better. Really. I really, REALLY do mean that. But after all, it is what it is.

Absentee, that writing was right up there with the best of Bill Whittle. Only funnier. (Whoops, there I go again). Thanks.

The "Third Worst Person in the World" and aiming higher.

absentee (this troubles me not to capitalize when his name is at the start of a sentence, but out of respect for greatness, I do what I do...) may be legendary, but you are FAMOUS. Don't change!

Stare decisis is fo' suckas -- Feddie

Such kind words. But is MSNBC really a major network?

The "Third Worst Person in the World" and aiming higher.

Stare decisis is fo' suckas -- Feddie

"Nothing works like freedom, Nothing succeeds like liberty"

...that when the Comprehensive Oxford Style Guide to the Blogosphere in the English Language is finally published, this post will be the wellspring of inspiration for everything good and true inside it.

Absentee, I've been meaning to ask you a personal question also. If you'd rather not respond on the blog, or if you'd rather not respond at all, actually, that's fine. My comment form works and if you'd rather not answer, please forget I asked but...

What gender are you?

This post and the clever device you used to develop it has made me feel like this song...

Apple is using it in the advertising campaign for their new MacBook Air, and it is just a pure delight of a song. Lisetning to it while reading this post makes me feel *clean* and *new* and *hopeful* as though all of the bad, icky habits of the world just got hosed right off the driveway.

I died a little inside, just now. I am no island. I'm no gentleman or scholar. Though a good man is hard to find, it would seem the rest of us are in Google for eternity. I'm a jack of no trades and master of even fewer.

But what is a man? How many roads must I walk down? You see, it is a man's world. Man (and superman) learn that time waits for no man.

Man, there are a lot of man clichés.

I was born a man anew at Parris Island, if I may at this late point deign to directly answer your question.


I threw up a little in my mouth

/not one of my favorite cliche's

"Nothing works like freedom, Nothing succeeds like liberty"

It was meant with great admiration, regardless of the answer, but this post reminded me of someone I knew a long time ago. The resemblance in style is uncanny and it's meant as a profound compliment, because she was an extraordinary writer who guided me as a cranky and impatient nerd to put my thoughts on paper a little more clearly and expressively than I otherwise would have.

Do you mind me threadjacking to ask what year?

I went to boot in the summer of '93. I worked in intel but if told you what I did, I'd have to kill you. I'll say this, at the end of the day, it's no picnic. But I was ready to lock and load.

"I wish to have no connection with any ship that does not sail fast; for I intend to go in harm's way" says John Paul Jones. Aye, says I.

When all was said and done, it was the best of times and the worst of times; But I wouldn't have it any other way.

And you have to love that about the Corps.

I joined in 2000 and went to San Diego [insert unnecessary derogatory comment]. I joined as a combat engineer but got placed in a infantry unit. I've been a grunt ever since. I'll say this, at the end of the day, it's no picnic. But I was ready to get a civilian job and sit on my butt for the rest of my life and get fat on my wife's cooking.

are two that drive me crazy. Of course it is your opinion -- YOU ARE POSTING IT ON A BLOG, STUPID! And then, of course, are you REALLY humble? I think not! And even saying NSH, you are slyly trying to denote that in reality you ARE humble.



was an Israeli missile system. The rest of those all look like Yiddish to me.

well, at least when referring to that little gizmo that craps out $20 bills. I say it's OK to use it when referring to Asynchronous Transfer Mode, since that's a handful to say, and besides, I'm a geek bigot.

Stare decisis is fo' suckas -- Feddie

"Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom must, like men, undergo the fatigue of supporting it."
-Thomas Paine: The American Crisis, No. 4, 1777

When I see YMMV, I still think "you make me vomit."


The "Third Worst Person in the World" and aiming higher.

I can think of a reasonable excuse for using the phrase, as I do occasionally.

My comments tend to be heavy on data, or facts derived from data, and if I draw a conclusion from them I don't usually set it off with anything. If I state an opinion about something out of the blue, such as "John Edwards will be the Democrat nominee" (boy, does that one appear to be wrong so far), I might include an IMHO, even though it's obvious that it can't be anything BUT opinion.

I guess it's a waste of electronic ink, but it sometimes differentiates my off-the-cuff speculations from my reasoned conclusions.

Who needs "humble"? Maybe the "H" stands for "honest." Or "Hinz-inspired." Or "hallucinogen-induced." Or "horny."

The "Third Worst Person in the World" and aiming higher.

"a man's admiration for absolute government is proportinate to the contempt he feels for those around him". Tocqueville will be a dark and stormy night before we ever again stand at a crossroads.

Drink Good Coffee. You can sleep when you're dead.

A literal work of art. Really. You. Rock.

I meant what I said and I said what I meant. An elephant's faithful 100 percent.

Their toolbar is nice to put images up that you can use in any posts. It's literally at the end of the day, the new new way to post images :P

I was watching The Soup on E! (yes, I just admitted that) and I saw a clip of some dim bulb referring to Britney Spears' "downward spiral" as her being "literally on a roller coaster to hell".

was at the end of the recent UCLA/BYU bowl game when one of the announcers insisted that a UCLA player had "literally left his guts on the field."

I looked and looked and never could see any guts. I don't know, maybe there were just too many BYU fans celebrating for me to get a view.

I wish I had seen that.

you said: At the end of the day: At the end of this list is the one that grates the most on my nerves. At the end of the day ... what? "WHAT?" What at the end of the day? Better yet, why at the end of the day? Do you really want to keep using this? Really?!? Or how about "when it comes right down to it" or "when it's all said and done" ... I'd like to know it was going to stop. At the end of the day. Today.

I say do not listen to this song from my favorite musical

btw, how do I imbed? Anyone?


Molon Labe!

Just copy everything in the box and paste it here. Some don't allow embedding. It'll say so on the video.

It's the beginning of another day, so I can't find a way to fit in "at the end of the day".

Oh... I. Just. Did. :-)

What we need in a leader is to tell us not what we want to hear, but what we need to hear.
Fred Thompson 2008
==== 13 ====


Molon Labe!

I'm darn tired of the MSM using the phrase "so called surge". It's the surge, that's what people are calling it.

It is devoted solely to documenting mis-uses of the word "literally."

One of my favorite non-political blogs.

W.C. Fields for President!

That blog is literally hilarious. I laughed so hard, I literally cracked a rib. I literally popped like a water balloon. I literally inhaled a small dog and had to have it surgically removed!

Good link. Figuratively speaking, of course.


at your response to it

i think you can take this show on the road, absentee. no joke.

W.C. Fields for President!

This may sound cliché, but I'm literally touched. Literally.

Like, seriously. Like, "that's gonna leave a mark" touched. Like, "gospel singer at a revival" touched.

Like, "I had to use a doll to show the judge where" touched!


W.C. Fields for President!

The one that bothers me most is "irregardless." A word and its opposite cannot have the same meaning, yet this is a case where they do. It drives me insane!

No one understood why Giuliani's "Tested. Ready. Now." annoyed me so much.

"Okay, so he's tested, he's ready, he's...he's now? Like in fashion?"

No one of good character leaves behind a wasted life - John McCain

Soooo tired of the word "snark."

"Blogosphere" - I. Hate. That. Word.

"LULZ" is a new one, and I pray it dies quickly.

"War on terror" - You know what? It's a misnomer, but deal with it--we're not gonna change it now after 6+ years. (I prefer WW4--the Cold War was WW3--but I still call it the War on Terror.) Just like the surge--you may not like its name, but that's what we call it.

Fred08 - Contribute Now

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