Quit Hurting Our Ears With Your Idioms

Jessica Cassyle Carr
2 min read
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With heavy purveyance from pop culture, many of us out there have gotten the idea that using the same idioms over and over again, as opposed to saying what you actually mean, or perhaps using one of the other thousands of catchphrases that exist in our language, is the way to go. Here's a short list of totally clichéd idioms that we could all stand to never hear again:

Outside the box:

This is the absolute worst; a total oxymoron. Thinking or doing anything “outside the box” means that it's different, right? But we hear people say this constantly, so when deeming something “outside the box,” what is accomplished in diction is the exact opposite of the idea you intend to get across. Just stop.

Push the envelope:

See above.

Step up to the plate:

“Jimmy, you need to step up to the plate and be a man.” It seems like you can always catch this one during a reality show, whether it be an authority figure telling one of his or her peons to do it or some overweight mom ordering a family member to take responsibility for, whatever. You don't need baseball references to get your point across.

Grab the bull by the horns:

This is probably the toughest idiom out there. It conjures up images of big trucks rolling through flaming mud as thunder booms and lightning strikes in the background. Its commercial use probably outweighs its individual use, but either way it should be avoided. Anyway, wouldn't it be more daring to grab the bull by the balls?

Hit the ground running:

This one is used in about half of the job listings out there and should serve as a warning sign for potential employees.

Nip it in the bud:

Gross, that's gross.

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