Word Smith: Clearing out clichés - at the end of the day

High End: That all-important bling giving 110 per cent.

High End: That all-important bling giving 110 per cent.

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IT’s not something that needs doing every day, writes Martin Smith.

But it does need doing from time to time otherwise we start to choke.

The flaying of the cliché mongers.

We’re all full of them.

One man’s catchphrase is another man’s suicide note.

But there are some that need to be highlighted, rooted out and expunged to cleanse the collective soul.

The first -and worst at the moment is ‘all important’.

As in Radio Five’s ‘all-important’ first goal or the ‘all-imporant weather forecast’ all-important lottery numbers and that all-important traffic update.

It’s not so much that it’s used wrongly but that it’s used for everything.

Stop it, all of you.

The second, which could have been first, is ‘If I’m honest with you’.

This is different from ‘to be honest’.

To be honest implies a certain confessional aspect.

‘If I’m honest with you’ however suggests that the speaker is not usually honest but this time will make an exception just for you Maybe.

Why do we want this person to tell us anything at all?

Moving on, ‘In and around’ is one that’s been bothering for a while.

Beloved of football pundits talking about teams ‘in and around’ the top six.

It’s related to ‘there or thereabouts’ but, its slightly younger and more nauseating brother.

How about ‘high-end’, used when talking about fashion or other overpriced bling.

It tells you what it’s talking about but, like all the tics that infest our lives it says too much but not enough.

Having said that though and giving it 110 per cent, the bottom line is that at the end of the day, moving forward it is what it is.

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