Jonah Goldberg

Tyranny of Clichés

Upcoming (Sentinel, 2011).

From “The Tyranny of Clichés” National Review Online.

“My problem isn’t with clichés themselves. As a conservative, I have to have more than a little respect for the pearls of wisdom contained in phrases like “why buy the cow if you can get the milk for free?” There are millennia’s worth of Hayekian trial and error built into the trite phrases your mother or grandmother uses. No, my problem is with people who accept clichés without reflecting on what exactly they mean. In a sense, clichés become an ideology all of their own. And since we accept cute phrases like “the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence” uncritically, clichés can be far more pernicious than ideology.”

-Jonah Goldberg



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