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You probably don’t think about the printing press very often, but in its heyday it completely changed the world. Little wonder, then, that a number of expressions from the world of printing have made it into everyday English. Next time you come out with the following phrases, give yourself a little pat on the back […]more
The word ‘stereotype’ comes from the French adjective stéréotype, which itself comes from the Greek στερεός (solid) and τύπος (type). It was originally a term used in letterpress printing, referring to a solid plate of metal cast from a mould taken of a forme (a body of type secured in a metal frame for printing). […]more
When we think of clichés, we often think of a phrase that is trite and hackneyed, a person who stereotypically conforms to social constructs and labels, or something that is predictable and lacks ingenuity. The word cliché is of French origin, and originally meant a stereotype block bearing text that was used to produce multiple […]more
Ever since I first read an ancient edition of Ernest Gowers’ book on plain English about fifteen years ago, I’ve tried to put his guidelines into practice whenever I write. I don’t always get it right – I’m sure you’ll catch me out in this piece of writing – but I always try. What is […]more
When it’s all said and done at the end of the day, I can say I made a difference in the world. Does the above cliché-ridden sentence (taken from a transcript of a 2004 TV show) make you cringe? If so, join the club (whoops, another one). Although it can be hard to avoid them, […]more