Cliche of the Week 8 – Heavy Lifting

July 18, 2010 at 11:46 pm 7 comments

From sleek corporate corridors to shadowy political backrooms and sweaty sports stadiums, there’s always someone doing the heavy lifting, carrying the workload for the benefit of others.

This catch-all cliche appears in the media about 1200 times a week around the world and is applied to many flavours of news: sport, finance, real estate and politics.

On basketball: “(Dwyane) Wade’s role in this can’t be overstated. He already brought one title to Miami by doing all the heavy lifting, and now he just put down the foundation for many more.” (The Miami Herald 8 July)

The New Statesman on July 5: “Aides who accompany heads of state to the G8 are called sherpas — a direct nod to the heavy-lifting, life-supporting role of the real thing.”

On welfare reform in Britain: “Much of the intellectual heavy lifting has been done.” (The Economist June 26)

ABC Radio, June 24: “It’s West Australian employers and businesses which are doing the heavy lifting to bring Australia back into economic recovery.”

The Gulf of Mexico oil spill: “But the administration seems to want to have it both ways — insisting it is in charge while also insisting that BP do the heavy lifting.” (Associated Press May 26)

The Cliche of the Week is published in the Australian newspaper on Mondays in the Media section.

Also read today’s story ‘Irony Lady borrows her style from Margaret Thatcher’ about the election slogan Moving Forward

Entry filed under: Cliche of The Week. Tags: , , , , , , , , .

Cliche of the Week 7 – Fled the Scene Cliche of the Week 9 – Safe Haven

7 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Maryanne Khan  |  July 19, 2010 at 12:03 am

    A you beaut!

  • 2. Alan Knight  |  July 19, 2010 at 12:06 am

    It’s got to be “back flip”. I must have heard it a thousand times on the news. Journalists now use it to refer any changes in government policy. Its even spreading to the cliche masters of sports reporting!

  • 3. Natpat  |  July 19, 2010 at 4:00 am

    Labor Party’s catch cry ‘Moving Australia forward’ ppfftt

  • 4. sarah toa  |  July 19, 2010 at 1:33 pm

    sorry to deviate from ‘heavy lifting’ too far … but ‘moving forward’? what does it mean? Does it mean anything at all? The banality is astonishing!

  • 5. Warren Reed  |  July 21, 2010 at 4:21 am

    “Moving forward” is an even more nebulous variation on the “going forward” theme. Hardly an economist or financial commentator in Australia can discuss where things are heading without mentioning it. Words like “future”, and many others in the English language, which have served us well over endless centuries, have been rendered meaningless by users of this turn of phrase. It wasn’t long after “going forward” spilled into our lexicon that politicians adopted it as a must-have, hip expression. Even Kevin Rudd was hooked on it, until he suddenly started going backwards. Warren Reed, Sydney.

  • 6. Tony Richardson  |  July 21, 2010 at 7:40 am

    It’s actually quite hard to eliminate all cliches from your writing. If only there was an application to do the heavy lifting for me.

  • 7. Maryanne Khan  |  August 8, 2010 at 10:14 am

    Surely this week it has to be ‘ real ‘

    I am the real thing

    Latham saying ‘I am a real person, I am a real reporter, this is the real thing, this is a real nursing home,”

    and the ABC’s Insiders asking where’s the real X? Abbott, Gillard, Latham, meetings, policies . . . .


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