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in favor of reform; supporting a progressive philosophy; tolerant; open-minded
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ESL Story: Have a nice cliché

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Have a nice cliché

I expect you know what I'm on about. You know, when people say something that, you know, has been said millions of times before, you know. Well, it's not exactly rocket science as they say and sometimes it's difficult to put your finger on it, you know, and here am I talking as if you hadn't already sussed it, but I'm on about clichés and that, you know, where people sort of say something in particular words and phrases like, well, that sends a message as if they're not really using their grey matter.

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I expect you've got my drift, kind of thing. They say that the country's going to the dogs and that's all because the government haven't got a clue. They reckon most of the time they're up a creek without a paddle... It's their opinion that running the country is like falling off a log or child's play and it beats them how anyone can make such a pig's ear of it all. Not to put too fine a point on it and not beating about the bush, they come straight out, making no bones about it with comments like:

My old lady could make a better stab at things. She'd soon have things shipshape. Not a shadow of doubt about that. But between you and me, they're a bit out of line. I mean to say, Joe Public couldn't do what those politicians do. They might have a go to start with and then all hell would break loose. It would soon dawn on them that they wouldn't make a better fist of it than the politicians. You see, I think that most people have got hold of the wrong end of the stick. I mean to say, I can't see anyone going into politics to make a fortune.

If you do take the plunge, the odds are that you've got your heart in the right place and you've got your head screwed on. They start off full of good intentions but they soon discover they're banging their heads against a brick wall. I mean all said and done Rome wasn't built in a day, was it? You have to start softly, softly and then sort of take it easy until people are ready and then you can strike while the iron's still hot. At least that's what Id do. Still fat chance I'd ever become a member of parliament.

There was a time when I did fancy my chances and I did toy with the idea. I was selected by a committee and had an interview and they fired questions at me and gave me a good grilling. I just about kept my head above water, though. After it was all over, they told me I'd just missed the boat and possibly I should have another bash.

They told me Id put on a good show but I needed to brush up my use of language. They said there needed to be more substance in what I said. I thought to myself it was really a case of the pot calling the kettle black. I' certainly was taken down a peg or two. Me and my bad English, I ask you? Still I didn't let it put me off my stride. At the end of the day I thought it best to leave it. Funnily enough one of the candidates in the next election came knocking at my door last week. Now I pride myself on being a good judge of character. I mean she certainly knew her onions. And she was a looker too. Come to think of it I might well vote for her...

Well thanks for letting me bend your ear and allowing me to let off a bit of steam. I expect the penny's dropped by now and you realise I take a great pride in my native language – often fancied myself as a bit of a wordsmith. Have a nice day.

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Next:ESL Story: The language of suspicion

Author: Alan Townend

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