Monday, 17 October 2011

Kylie: Not a "diminutive Antipodean chanteuse"

We were discussing elegant variations here last week, so it was timely to see an excellent addition to the list from Giles Coren in an article in the Independent on Sunday yesterday. Coren is quoted as saying:
When I started as editor of the Times diary (diaries are always the worst for cliché, as they're staffed by over-educated public schoolboys desperately trying to be noticed), I wrote up a list of words and sentences I would not stand for. At the top was, "diminutive Antipodean chanteuse", which used to feature practically weekly in the diary of my predecessor. What Kylie Minogue is, I told my dribbling, pink-faced underlings, is a short Australian singer. If you think people need to be told that, tell them. That is not a cliché. That is just language. "Diminutive Antipodean chanteuse", however, is just bollocks. Indeed, it is bollocks on stilts (to use a cliché I have always rather liked). 
The longer version of Coren's quote is blogged by John Rentoul who has written a book called The Banned List: A manifesto against jargon and cliche. I have already added it to my Christmas list  - and suggested to the trainees they do the same. And if you have regular 'transactional behaviour' with any politicians, you now have the flawless Yuletide donation notion (or, for all you simple souls, the  perfect Christmas gift idea). 

Hat-tip to @Petercampbell1

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