[Skip to Content]
[Skip to Content Landing]
January 22, 1968

Hazards of Declichéfication

Author Affiliations

Winnimani, Canada

JAMA. 1968;203(4):305. doi:10.1001/jama.1968.03140040057025

This article is only available in the PDF format. Download the PDF to view the article, as well as its associated figures and tables.


To the Editor:—  Shamed by your admonitions ("The Cliché," 202: 723, 1967), I have eschewed clichés in writing and speech. The effect of this fastidiousness on the quality of language was gratifying, but communication lost much efficacy, as illustrated by the following episode:The other night at the club, as I was about to order my usual Scotch-on-the-rocks, I bethought myself to replace the worn cliché by a fresh metaphor. Accordingly, I asked for a Scotch-on-the-icebergs. The frozen smile on the waiter's face bespoke no understanding. Simplifying the image, I requested a Scotch-on-the-tinklers. Again, there was no response. Only when, in exasperation, I ordered Scoth-on-the-clinking-marbles did the waiter, displaying comprehension, bring me a drink, which I quickly gulped down. Unfortunately, in the semi-darkness of the clubroom, I failed to notice that the marbles in the glass were not metaphoric.The next few days will determine whether the