Time to retire some phrases

May 14, 2020 at 6:00 AM

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Time to retire some phrases

By Dan Breen  dan blog header long.png

I'm hosting a retirement party. Consider yourself invited. Regrets only.

It's not me who's retiring. And it’s not an in-person event. We won't be violating any gathering limits. There’s no Zoom, Google Meets or Facebook Live feeds.

What I’m proposing is a forever-retirement of several overly utilized COVID-19 clichés. Within a couple of months, I'm calling for these phrases to be discharged permanently from our vernacular:

  • We're all in this together.
  • Flattening the curve.
  • These are unprecedented/uncertain times.
  • Fluid situation.
  • When this is all said and done…
  • Social distancing.
  • Now, more than ever…

Writers and journalists are taught to avoid clichés whenever possible. Clichés are generally unoriginal, and rarely add punch to your story. They're little writing sins.

But even seasoned writers sometimes slip them in without even knowing it. (*Pausing to check cliché presence in this story). I edit out clichés from almost everything I write.

Some sins are like slipping in clichés. If we could retrospectively edit our lives at the end of each day, we would find a lot of them. Most aren’t overt or intentional. They just kind of happen: snapping at a family member; exaggerating the truth; “borrowing” something that isn't yours; holding a grudge; criticizing; gossiping.

The list is extensive. I wonder what our daily sin counter tally would read if we had one?

In Romans 16:19, Paul urges Christians to be “wise to what is good and innocent as to what is evil.”

You can probably still hear those well-known childhood idioms in your head: “Think before you act,” or “if you don’t have anything nice to say, you shouldn’t say anything at all.” They’re no less true as adults.

May we all be aware of the ways we fall short of God’s glory each day as we seek to be more Christlike each day of our lives.

Let’s do everything we can do throw a retirement party for our daily sinful thoughts and actions, knowing our Heavenly party host has paid a rich cost for each one of us.

Consider yourself invited. Regrets only.


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