About Chris Pash

Journalist, cliche hunter and writer of narrative non fiction. The Last Whale, the story of the last whalers in the English-speaking world and the activisits who tried to stop them, was published by Fremantle Press in 2008. He lives in Sydney, Australia, and works in the news and information industry.

Unless otherwise stated,  all Posts are ‘Copyright (c) 2010-11 Chris Pash. All Rights Reserved’

12 Comments Add your own

  • 1. rob walker  |  June 7, 2010 at 9:16 am

    Hi Chris. I’d like to nominate “the fact is…” or “the reality is…”

    When I heard Alexander Downer insert these about ten times each in a n interview a few years ago, it inspired this poem:

    advice to a politician

    the fact is..

    what follows
    is inevitably


    the reality is..

    mine is


  • 2. chrispash  |  June 8, 2010 at 12:45 am

    ‘the fact is’ does appear a lot in reportage around the word, around 25,000 times a month, mostly in quotes and not paraphrased (reporter’s words).
    see a fair bit of the phrase in sports reports as well as politics.
    it’s a little like ‘at the end of the day’ in that it’s a signal that a summary statement is coming

  • 3. Bob lawrence  |  July 18, 2010 at 6:59 am

    Surely “Moving Forward ” is about to emulate a newly released Beatles Record of the 1960’s and jump from no where to First Place in the Charts ion its first week

  • 4. ann lee  |  July 26, 2010 at 2:28 pm

    Chris, have you ever analyzed ‘at this point in time’? Like so many of these cliches, it seems redundant.

  • 5. Craig Welch  |  November 6, 2010 at 2:07 am

    “Reach out” is firmly entrenched in the US but not yet here, thank God.

    Here’s an example: http://techcrunch.com/2010/11/05/gmail-speed/

    “When I reached out to Google about the issue a few days ago” seems to mean “when I asked Google”.

    “Google reached out to us today” seems to mean “Google replied”.

  • 6. Leith Phillips  |  January 31, 2011 at 7:58 pm

    Hi Chris,

    I have a classic: so and so was “fighting for his/her life” in intensive care or in some room with lots of things going beep. They’re not fighting, they’re hooked up to machines keeping them alive, probably drugged to the eyeballs and very probably unconscious.

  • 7. Phil Geisel  |  April 11, 2011 at 3:05 pm

    Hi Chris: The worst misused phrase in North American media is : “This begs the question”. “Begs the question” is short for “beggars the question” and stands for (only) the fallacy of “affirming the consequence”.

  • 8. Craig Welch  |  April 19, 2011 at 3:50 pm

    I’m pretty pedantic Phil, but don’t agree with you.

    To quote from Oxford: ‘However, over the last 100 years or so another use has arisen: ‘invite an obvious question’. This is by far the commonest use today and is widely accepted‘.

    • 9. cleanphil  |  April 25, 2011 at 1:52 pm

      Hi Craig: It may be in common usage and therefore recognized by the OED, but my first year philosophy professor would disagree. It only adds to confusion when two different meanings are intended by the same cliche.
      The OED also recognizes the “initialization” WTF, which I say should be reserved for Wednesday,Thursday,Friday.

  • 10. Sonja Goernitz  |  September 8, 2011 at 11:41 pm

    Hi Chris,

    How about “… like toys” in reports/captions after a natural disaster?


  • 11. chrispash  |  September 9, 2011 at 1:28 pm

    good one, Sonya!

  • 12. George Fisher  |  October 31, 2011 at 1:01 pm

    Whilst you are clearly right about today’s “destroyed” entry, I have some sympathy for ‘almost destroyed’ or ‘partially destroyed’ because I think they are valid descriptors (if that’s an acceptable term).

    On the other hand, I’m sorry you didn’t take up my suggestion to list “in terms of” as being wholly unnecessary – which it is. When its use began (early 1980s?) an editor friend and I tried to belittle it with: what’s the time? in terms of hours & minutes it is… how much was it? in terms of dollars and cents it cost…etc.etc. There are people who will use the expression several times in a matter of minutes and I do hope you (and others) will start ridiculing it soon!

    Keep up the good work.

    George Fisher


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