I’ve included a few more clichés that serve no other purpose than to make you scratch your head and wish you could get the few seconds back that you lost trying to figure out what was meant when they were uttered.
He went the whole nine yards. Sounds like a great effort, unfortunately it takes ten yards to get a first down.
I am head over heels. Congratulations, you’re in love and still upright! If you are heels over head, you might have a bit of a problem.
Don’t pull my leg. You have absolutely no worries there.
How being “in a pickle” ever came to symbolize facing a tough decision or situation, I have no idea. Similarly, why are nutshells the best places to hold a summary?
Can we agree to eliminate the cliché, “like taking candy from a baby”, altogether? First, it’s mean. Second, there are plenty of clichés that fill in very nicely for something that is easy. It was a walk in the park, for example. Third, why does a baby have candy in the first place?
Anytime I have ever heard somebody say that they will make a long story short, it is already too late!
It was nothing to sneeze at. This one just confuses me. I don’t know if this is bad or good or if someone has just cured their allergies.
How about “out like a light”? If it is a light, isn’t it on? If a light is out, is it still a light?
Lastly, how can it be a bad thing to be over the hill, but a great thing to be over the moon? Not even astronauts go over the moon. I feel like something would be drastically wrong if I ever found myself over the moon.
That’s it for now. All these questions have made me tired and after a day like to today, as soon as my head hits the pillow, I’m out like a …
By Scott Arney, Chief Executive Officer, Chicago Patrolmen’s Federal Credit Union.
This article is part of Arney's new series, entitled A New Use for an Old Cliché.
This installment is part of Arney's educational series, entitled The Serial Decision Maker.