Have you ever noticed how some people always use certain adjectives with particular nouns? TV and TV news is famous for this practice, but we all do it. Here’s a partial list to get you started. How many can you come up with?
- Innocent children. Why is it that children are always innocent? If you’ve ever had kids, you’ll know that this prase is entirely erroneous. Innocent victims is in the same category. To be fair, the “innocent” usually doesn’t refer to the child’s or victim’s moral or legal culpability. I usually means they didn’t deserve what happened to them
- Nice cup of tea. As in, “Here, let me fix you a nice cup of tea.” This is mostly used in British novels and TV programs, but we Americans use it too. Why not just say, “A cup of tea?”
- Good money. As in, “I gave good money for that truck and now it’s broke.” I don’t know how money can have moral character.
- All new. This usually refers to episodes of programs on TV. It has a clever ring to it. It sounds better than, “New.” I guess they’re implying that the episode is 100% new as opposed to 25% new. What producer would only change 25% of a previous episode, anyway. Oh yeah, I forgot Lost.
- Senseless violence. What violence makes sense anyway? Sheesh.
- Random act of violence. Like the person committing the violence is committing it randomly. Even the shooter in the Jerk picked the name out of a phone book. Violence happens on purpose, folks, not randomly.
Ok, now it’s your turn. How many of these silly phrases can you come up with?