Bump in the Road: Spinspeak Makes Another Classic Cliché Bite the Dust

Clichés by definition  are tired and old. Clichés lack imagination and wit. Clichés remind one of  stale vaudeville jokes.

But clichés have their uses.  No dictionary or interpreter is needed.  Your meaning is clear even to room temperature IQ audiences.  Clichés  can even be employed artfully to enrich satire.

However, when used repeatedly as obvious spinspeak, a cliché wilts and dies.

A prime example is the  talking point  “bump in the road”  overexposed by the Obama Administration and its fellow travelers to downplay a seemingly endless 9.1 percent unemployment level.

The noun “bump” is a very old  and rather nice word dating back to the l6th Century. It means protuberance, a lump  or swelling such as bump on a log or bump on the head.  Obviously such a bump is a small matter that can be overcome with an ice pack or easily driven around or over; a brief obstacle soon chuckled about over a beer.

That’s what the proclaimers of bump in the road  want you to think when you keep facing  9.1 percent continuing unemployment: It’s a temporary minor concern.  But there are  millions of  unemployed blocked by this “bump.”   That’s why “bump in the road” is doomed as a cliché and is being  relegated to the spinspeak garbage pail of economic humbug.

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