Cliche of the Week 78 – In the trenches

February 13, 2012 at 10:37 am Leave a comment

Sporting, political and business heroes have grown weary of the long and bloody battle in the trenches.

In a famous speech to rally the British in World War II, Winston Churchill repeated the line “we shall fight them” and named various places, including in the trenches.

But since then the impact has dulled, with the phrase applied in the mainstream media 1000 times a month, up from 300 two years ago.

A lot of the mentions appear in reports on American football, along the lines of  “This game will be won in the trenches”.

The gridiron area where opposing linesmen battle is often called the trenches, and saying a game will be won or lost there is stating the obvious.

It’s similar in politics. “After a long year in the trenches, Julia Gillard is confident she will be around long enough to lead Labor into battle at the next election.” (Herald-Sun, December 17)

“Mitt Romney set out in Florida this week to prove he could get down in the trenches and duke it out with Newt Gingrich.” (The Boston Globe, January 27)

And again: “Mr Romney has tapped some advisers who fought in the trenches during the Bush administration in the war against `Islamic extremists’.” (The Washington Times, January 19)

Cliche of the Week appears in The Australian newspaper Mondays.

Cliches in the media are 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. Tags: , , .

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