Throw Me to the Wolves – or Not

inconceivableA few months ago, I was casting around my brain for a title for a music-related post on my blog, and came up with “Begging the Musical Question” – a play on the well-known phrase begging the question.

But something about the way I wanted to use the phrase nagged at me, so I looked up what it actually meant. I had thought the begging in begging the question meant something along the lines of “posing.” Boy, was I wrong. Begging the question – according to my copy of Brewer’s Dictionary of Phrase and Fable – is to “assume a proposition which, in reality, involves the conclusion” – in other words, to use circular logic. The entry in Brewer’s provides this example: if you say that parallel lines will never meet because they are parallel, you’ve begged the question. Continue reading “Throw Me to the Wolves – or Not”

The Cliché

clicheLike every subject to do with writing, this is a theme that comes up ‘time and time again’; there that didn’t take long did it?

The origin of the word cliché is, not surprisingly, French. The French first used the word to describe the sound that a matrix, or a mould with letters on it, made when being dropped into molten metal to make a printing plate. Well, the meaning has certainly come a long way since then.

There are various interpretive descriptions of ‘the cliché’, depending on which dictionary or thesaurus you consult, but this one describes it well enough for most readers to grasp its meaning: an original saying, phrase, work of art or part thereof that, through continual use, becomes trite and unimaginative; or this, the cliché can be an expression imposed by conventionalised linguistic usage. Continue reading “The Cliché”

Fun with Cliches

A bushel and a peck go hand in hand
To a rock star’s concert, his biggest fans.
They have no clue to his true identity;
His gilt on the edge is a harbored fantasy.

The best thing since sliced bread? Oh, what a joke!
They want a great show and all he wants is a smoke.
From his world on the stage, along his nose he looks down,
Counting seconds ’til departure from this one-horse town.

Grey at the temples but dressed to kill,
He hides the fact well that he is over the hill
By singing his heart out at the top of his lungs
And doing everything short of speaking in tongues.

For sixty long minutes he pays his dues
Then packs up his wares and makes an excuse.
In the nick of time, he leaves them wanting more
And makes a beeline and beats it straight to the door.

Though stalked by paparazzi, he has to confess
He should have flashed in the pan: no more, no less.
With his back to the wall, he would have to be frank,
So he slips through their fingers and laughs his way to the bank.

He doesn’t give a damn and won’t speak a word.
He’s as sick as a dog yet free as a bird.
He may be out of the woods but he’s never safe;
The fans’ object of desire is a colossal fake.

His no-strings-attached manner made all of them swoon
But if they knew the truth, they’d have changed their tune.
He drives the point home where he lives with his mother
And pills block the beat of a deathly shy drummer.

Count the Clichés

She was a flaxen-haired beauty, cute as a button, and never missed a beat.

She was sharp as a tack, but on the other hand, she had those two left feet.

She took for granted that she’d grown up in a land of milk and honey.

She’d give it up in a New York minute, but not for love or money. Continue reading “Count the Clichés”