Cliche of the Week 125 – Acid Test

May 12, 2013 at 9:47 am 2 comments

Use an acid test when digging through poor-quality ore and you may find sound political judgment, financial health or the presence of gold.

Unfortunately, we use the term ‘acid test’ so often — several thousand times a month — in news reports that the term has become more base metal than sparkling riches.

“The first three months of 2011 were an acid test for the ACT’s 16-year-old urban search and rescue capability.” (The Canberra Times, February 23)

“For former Lok Sabha Speaker, this year’s poll in Meghalaya is an acid test for his political survival after his defeat in the presidential election last year.” (The Times of India, February 23)

“Class warfare tends to fail the acid test of lived experience.” (Orange County Register, February 21)

“Real Madrid v Manchester United is `acid test’, says Ferguson.” (The Guardian, February 13)

“The acid test of whether the Retail Distribution Review is succeeding in promoting a more level playing field will be seen in advisers’ attitudes to products such as tracker funds, exchange-traded funds (ETFs) and investment trusts.” (The Times, January 2)

That last one from The Times of London also has ‘level playing field’, qualifying as a double-positive cliche acid test.

Chris Pash’s book, The Last Whale , a true story set in the 1970s about Australia’s last whaling station and the activists who fought to close it, was published by Fremantle Press in 2008.

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

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2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. cleanphil  |  May 12, 2013 at 1:42 pm

    Obviously , they’re not referring to “The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test” by Tom Wolfe. Those were different kinds of “tests”.

  • 2. cleanphil  |  May 12, 2013 at 1:45 pm

    Perhaps, they should use the term “litmus test” that determines acidity versus alkalinity.


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