Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Post Number Twenty-One*

*Kill the Warhol Cliché

Paul McLeary from the
Columbia Journalism Reviw writes about the abundant use of clichés in journalism:
Sure, with the pressure of filing several stories a week, it's tempting to recycle some ideas or rely on the crutch of cliché -- if for no other reason than to pad the word count a bit. Still, it's hard to take when a writer for a major publication lazily tosses a weak cliché into one of their pieces.
Yesterday, we ran across a double book review in the Sunday Styles section of the New York Times (granted, not necessarily the place to go looking for literary criticism), that borrowed a quote so tired, so hackneyed, it made even our cynical eyes wince:
Forty years ago Andy Warhol predicted that "in the future everyone will be famous for 15 minutes." A decade later he revised that to "in 15 minutes everyone will be famous." Now the concept gets another update: With eight words, Periel Aschenbrand will be famous.
The Warhol quote. When will we be finished with the Warhol quote? It has to be one of the most abused American utterances of the last 50 years. It's everywhere -- and has been everywhere -- for as long as we can remember, and given that it can hardly teach us anything we don't already know, we respectfully call for its retirement.
Sounds like someone is “beating a dead horse”.


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