Publicising his new book The Banned List: A Manifesto Against Jargon and Cliché, John Rentoul, political commentator who writes for The Independent, has included some of the political clichés he can't stand in an article in today's edition. They include 'transactional behaviour', as in 'not dependent on any transactional behaviour to maintain his income', a phrase that was used by Liam Fox about his friend and 'adviser' Adam Werrity before he resigned as Defence Secretary last week.
Rentoul highlights waffle used by David Cameron, such as 'in the driving seat' and 'sticking with the status quo is not an option'. Ed Miliband does not escape; he is taken to task for his 'hard-wiring fairness into the economy'.
Rentoul's proposed banned list of clichés includes 'going forward', 'any time soon' and 'a heads-up'. One of the dangers of writing about how annoying you find clichés and jargon in other people's writing is that, unfortunately, you tend to use them yourself. I can't decide whether Rentoul deliberately included such clichés in his writing as 'the damage has been done', 'the in-crowd', 'a mere statement of the obvious', 'a step ahead' and 'self-appointed guardians', or whether they just slipped through.
John Rentoul's article is here.