[Anthony Federico] said he has used the phrase "at least 100 times" in headlines over the years and thought nothing of it when he slapped it on the Lin story.Swift move, playing the Christian card. I'm sure the right-wing commentators will now be super-motivated to defend this poor man.
Federico called Lin one of his heroes - not just because he's a big Knicks fan, but because he feels a kinship with a fellow "outspoken Christian."
But let me say something cold-hearted: This is what happens when you use clichés. George Orwell told you long ago — in "Politics and the English Language": "Never use a metaphor, simile, or other figure of speech which you are used to seeing in print." Not only did you use one, your defense — other that that Christian business — is that you've used that same tired old figure of speech over and over and over again.
A newly invented metaphor assists thought by evoking a visual image, while on the other hand a metaphor which is technically "dead" (e.g. iron resolution) has in effect reverted to being an ordinary word and can generally be used without loss of vividness. But in between these two classes there is a huge dump of worn-out metaphors which have lost all evocative power and are merely used because they save people the trouble of inventing phrases for themselves. Examples are: Ring the changes on, take up the cudgel for, toe the line, ride roughshod over, stand shoulder to shoulder with, play into the hands of, no axe to grind, grist to the mill, fishing in troubled waters, on the order of the day, Achilles' heel, swan song, hotbed...... and chink in the armor.
Nobody even wears armor anymore, and the word "chink" is only used — other than in its moronic racial denotation — in that dying metaphor. Here's my rule: No one should ever use the expression "chink in the armor" again. Fire everyone who lets it go out in a final draft of anything.