Respectful Insolence

Enamored of a long run for a short slide

In today’s earlier post, a commenter stated:

You sure do like that “long run for a short slide” phrase.

I wondered: Is that true? Do I use that phrase too much? So, like any good blogger, I did a search. And what did I find? I found that, in the entire history of this blog since it’s been on ScienceBlogs (a year and a half now), I’ve only used the phrase a grand total of two timestwo times in less than two days, which may have given the impression that I’m overly enamored of that phrase.) In the history of my old blog, there was not a single use of the phrase.

I therefore conclude that I do not, in fact, use that phrase too much.

Far be it from me, however, to claim that I don’t have a bunch of phrases that I like to use over and over again. It’s just that “long run for a short slide” isn’t one of them. In fact, at an extreme risk of serious damage to my massive ego, I’m going to give you, my readers, a chance right now to tell me what my most overused phrases are. I don’t guarantee that I’ll change my behavior, but certainly self-knowledge is the first step in improving my writing. Yes, I already know that the terms “woo” and “woo-meister” will be right up near the top. And, no, they won’t be going anywhere any time soon. But others might.

I just know I’m going to end up regretting this post, though. I must be crazy to subject myself to this…

Comments

  1. #1 Cain
    September 20, 2007

    “The stupid, it burns.”

  2. #2 Michael Suttkus, II
    September 20, 2007

    Oh, come on, you can’t overuse that phrase, Cain!

  3. #3 Nat
    September 20, 2007

    Any comment that claims that reading some idiotic dross just caused you to lose IQ.

    But the grand prize surely goes to the twin cliches:
    “Evidence-based medicine”
    “non/not evidence-based medicine”
    ‘You know, like, it matters cause my stuff is all, like natural and down with the chi, and stuff. And you know RCTs just don’t, like, work, and stuff ’cause we’re totally too holistic.’

    Which I really love hearing ’cause I’m an EBM man myself.

    For the record ‘the stupid, it burns’ is just the ticket for such a situation.

  4. #4 Inquisitive Raven
    September 20, 2007

    “A load of fetid dingo kidneys” comes to mind. I mean what have you got against dingos and what are you doing to their kidneys to make them fetid?

    Okay, I’ll admit, I haven’t seen you use that one lately, but I do think it’s a bit overworked.

  5. #5 Coin
    September 21, 2007

    I have to admit I’m always a little puzzled by the word “bloviating”.

    It’s not a bad word, I suppose, I’ve just never seen it anywhere else.

  6. #6 Mithandir
    September 21, 2007

    Well, the obvious thing to do now is to set up a statistical analysis…

    There’s actually a fancy utility that’s made just for this kind of thing, it generates an image of words with the font-size of a word larger depending on the frequency. They’re called tag clouds I think?

  7. #7 Dan
    September 21, 2007

    This article make both 3 and 4. Once in the title and then again quoted in the message body. So now a total of 4 times :).

  8. #8 Betsy
    September 21, 2007

    Who Cares? Every Phrase that drops from your keyboard is a pearl of wisdom and the more you use a phrase the wiser we become because of it!
    (so the naysayers can just STFU)

  9. #9 Calli Arcale
    September 24, 2007

    “A load of fetid dingo kidneys” comes to mind. I mean what have you got against dingos and what are you doing to their kidneys to make them fetid?

    It’s a reference to the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, actually. Dingo’s kidneys got several mentions, if memory serves, but the most prominent was in the Guide’s discussion of the babel fish, which many thinkers used as a final and clinching proof of the non-existence of God. Theologans are said to have taken the argument as a load of dingo’s kidneys. :-P (Which it is; the entire segment is basically a humorous example of illogic.)

    I think the “fetid” part is Orac’s contribution to the phrase, however. I hope he keeps using it; as an Adams fan myself, I like to see his phrases pop up in casual conversation.