Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Words printed in the New York Times newspaper 

On the front page:

Clinton Shapes ’08 Image
In the cliché of modern politics, Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton is “reintroducing herself to the American people.”

Where, Mark Leibovich, do such "cliches of modern politics" come from? WHO do they come from? Who speaks them over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over again? Who makes the cliches, Mark Leibovich? WHO???

This is the type of writing that incurs scorn from freshman comp teachers, because those teachers have always, inevitably, spoken about this particular kind of bad writing ahead of time. They've spoken about how the "self-conscious" invocation of cliches is worse than just using cliches, because it BOTH disclaims responsibility for using them AND disclaims responsibility for making meaning in their stead. And yet this is someone writing for the New York Times. It's a perfect storm of empty rhetoric, with all the seeming innocuousness of pure poison. I want to vomit.


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