The Usual Suspects
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Cliches: over-used, abused, and sniffed at by school teachers - or are they valuable linguistic shorthand, summing up in a few words what otherwise would take twenty? In this A-Z, lexicographer Betty Kirkpatrick explains the stories behind and the usage of more than 1,500 phrases, old and new, from what is 'essentially a lawless part of the English language'. First published as The Dictionary of Cliches in 1996. Second edition.