Friday, 27 February 2004

You should avoid cliches like the plague

Two thoughts on how the reckless use of cliches can give the wrong impression:

1. Was just reading the latest edition of the Harvard Business Review, and an old thought struck me: why is it acceptable to talk about "slaughtering sacred cows" in business? Firstly, why should killing an animal have good connotations? And, more importantly, isn't the phrase vaguely offensive to people of a faith that actually has literal sacred cows?

2. In the reports today of the discussion between the Singapore Government and the airline pilots' union, one of the pilots was quoted as saying something to the effect of "we must leave the baggage behind, it'll only slow us down" (I'll get the exact quote in a later post). Now, I know it's a common cliche, but really, do I want a pilot who has such a negative and cavalier attitude towards baggage?

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