Kicked it up a notch. I believe in taking out clichés like that. Didn't like that I'd written "turns on a dime" in that post Instapundit paraphrases. I need to preparaphrase. I need to ask myself: What if Instapundit were lifting this and paraphrasing? Do that yourself. Be funnier, pithier, crueler. And replace all the damned clichés.
And let me take one more opportunity to reprint what George Orwell said about dying metaphors:
Dying metaphors. 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. Many of these are used without knowledge of their meaning (what is a "rift," for instance?), and incompatible metaphors are frequently mixed, a sure sign that the writer is not interested in what he is saying.Yes, what is "kick it up a notch" even about? What's getting kicked? And what is the notch? I tend to picture a volume control knob on an amplifier — as in turn it up to 11 — but volume control knobs don't have notches and you wouldn't kick them. I can picture beating the amplifier with one's guitar...
... but kicking, not so much. Especially kicking the volume control, which, again, has no notches.
So... help me out on this subject of what "kicking it up a notch" even means. "Turning on a dime" — I know what that is. It's an exaggeration of the tightness of a vehicle's turning circle that takes advantage of our familiarity with dimes — circles of a particular and very small size.
Or do you think kids used to put dimes down in the street and ride their bikes and see if they could turn on them?