Cliche of the Week 106 – Push the Envelope

August 27, 2012 at 6:05 pm 4 comments

Push the envelope beyond Earth’s boundaries and seek a paradigm shift in the way we define progress in the world.

News pages in North America and Britain lead in using “push the envelope” to describe a leap beyond existing standards.

“The argument is powerful, and its advocates are correct that presidents and other executive-branch officials often push the envelope during a crisis. Yet pushing the envelope isn’t the same thing as flouting the law.” (The Wall Street Journal, August 22)

“It’s testimony to Scott that he was able to refresh his style over three decades — each film feels perfectly of its time, neither stuck in the past nor unwisely pushing the envelope.” (The Guardian, August 20)

“He is now pushing the envelope even further by seeking permission from the central government to send a team of experts there to study development possibilities and environmental issues.” (Associated Press, August 21)

“But while it’s exciting, we could be pushing the envelope too far just for publicity.” (The Times of India, August 20)

“In his previous attempts to push the envelope, he’s suffered setbacks and pain whenever he tries to run.” (The Providence Journal, August 18)

Cliché of the Week appears in The Australian newspaper Mondays. Clichés 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: , .

Cliche of the Week 105 – Paradigm Shift Cliche of the Week 107 – Vicious Circle

4 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Barbara Temperton  |  August 27, 2012 at 10:38 pm

    Chris, Have you scrutinised the overuse of the word “allegedly” in the reportage of court/police events? It’s driving me nuts!

    • 2. Lesley Dewar  |  August 29, 2012 at 11:08 am

      Barbara – until the alleged offense is proven in a court of law, that is all it is: an “alleged offense”
      The police and others are legally bound to observe this.

    • 3. chrispash  |  September 11, 2012 at 4:26 pm

      ‘allegedly’ can be overdone. Court stories needn’t contain it in every sentence.

  • 4. Lesley Dewar  |  August 29, 2012 at 11:05 am

    What is even more frustrating about the overuse of this cliche is its abbreviation from the original statement.
    It’s the edges of the envelope that get pushed!
    Linguistic laziness abounds!


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