The Usual Suspects
and Other Cliches
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.