Cliche of the Week 69 – Completely Destroyed

October 31, 2011 at 9:50 am Leave a comment

When something is destroyed, that’s the end. It doesn’t exist. It ceases to function. It is no more.

To be completely destroyed is overkill. It is either destroyed or it isn’t. The “completely” isn’t needed.

And nor is almost or partially or partly destroyed. The word to use is “damaged”.

Completely destroyed gets used in the media 700-plus times a month, mostly in crime stories or those about war where the aim is to destroy targets.

“The force of the fire was so strong that the stairs had been completely destroyed, making a rescue attempt much more difficult.” (The Irish Times, October 4)

“The fire started at around 3.30am on Saturday and completely destroyed the five offices.” (Indian Express, October 2)

“She was devastated to see her once admired bromeliad feature in her front garden completely destroyed.” (Kawana Weekly, October 6)

“St Michael’s Cathedral was almost completely destroyed by the bombs the Luftwaffe rained down on the city during the Coventry blitz.” (The Guardian, September 23)

Update: 14 would-be Byline Madness laureates last week submitted sentences of 50 words or less with journalistic cliches. Entries close November 18.

More details

Cliche of the Week appears in The Australian newspaper Mondays. The usage of cliches in the media is tracked across the world using Factiva and Dow Jones Insight.

Chris Pash’s book, The Last Whale, a true story set in the 1970s, was published by Fremantle Press in 2008.

Entry filed under: Cliche of The Week.

Cliche of the Week 68 – Truthiness Cliche of the Week 70 – Political Assassination

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