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Of Blocks of Paper … & iPods

Avoid Cliches like the Plague or
How to Drive Your English Teacher Batshit

Alice N. Persons

Don’t Be a Stranger
Use a lot of trite-and-true expressions.
If it sounds vaguely familiar, throw it in.
Its alright, you’re teacher can handle it
she may have to lay down
or have a cold beer
after reading a stack of papers —
bad writing has that affect on her —
but she can deal.
Thats what they pay her the big bucks for.
Your probably going to pass this class
even though writting is not your favorit thing.

O to be nineteen years old,
master of video game, iPod,
a tiny, complicated cell phone,
all things electric —
but mostly a stranger to those low-tech
blocks of paper
called books
and not to recognize
or have any interest in purging
the many clichés
sprinkled threwout your paper.
like flies in the gravy.
That was a simile, but don’t worry.
it won’t be on the quiz


Oh how I love this poem … almost perfectly.  Ms. Persons’ lament is mine … almost totally. 

Except I do have a cell phone, an iPod, even video games.  And while it’s clear as mud that grammar skills have, indeed, taken a dive, I still read and read and read those blocks of paper like there was no tomorrow.  And use clichés only ocasionly.

That was a simile, a cliche and a misspelling all in one.  But don’t worry.  It won’t be on the quiz. 😉

Alice N. Persons at Wikipedia.  And she’s very pretty.

5 Responses to “Of Blocks of Paper … & iPods”

  1. hdb Says:

    It is sad that using language has been replaced by gadgets and that your high score at Ms. PackMan trumps having read Chaucer.

    We may eventually only be able to grunt to each other (electronically of course) and have reverted to some primitive era in our evolution.

    As always you share your appreciation of some creative endeavor with your fans and friends. Thanks for the poem Angela.

  2. PQS Says:

    If cliches and poor use of metaphors make you wince, try the Bulwer-Lytton Contest site. It’s terrific! Some examples of the really horrendous writing:

    A 2003 winning entry –

    “They had but one last remaining night together, so they embraced each other as tightly as that two-flavor entwined string cheese that is orange and yellowish-white, the orange probably being a bland Cheddar and the white . . . Mozzarella, although it could possibly be Provolone or just plain American, as it really doesn’t taste distinctly dissimilar from the orange, yet they would have you believe it does by coloring it differently.”

    Some from 2009:

    “Fleur looked down her nose at Guilliame, something she was accomplished at, being six foot three in her stocking feet, and having one of those long French noses, not pert like Bridget Bardot’s, but more like the one that Charles De Gaulle had when he was still alive and President of France and he wore that cap that was shaped like a little hatbox with a bill in the front to offset his nose, but it didn’t work.”

    “The wind dry-shaved the cracked earth like a dull razor–the double edge kind from the plastic bag that you shouldn’t use more than twice, but you do; but Trevor Earp had to face it as he started the second morning of his hopeless search for Drover, the Irish Wolfhound he had found as a pup near death from a fight with a prairie dog and nursed back to health, stolen by a traveling circus so that the monkey would have something to ride.”

    “After quickly scrutinizing the two dangerously buff men coming toward her in the dark and wondering whether she could take them both out, P.I. Velma Plusch mentally inventoried her arsenal-two pistols, two stiletto-clad feet, two leather-gloved hands, two each eyes, ears, lips, and breasts-and decided that she could.”


  3. Mr. Smith Says:

    Your sharp wit is just damn sexy.

  4. booklover Says:

    I’m booklover. Need I say more? Right on, Miss A.!!!

  5. science nerd Says:

    Our wonderful language has increasingly become Twitter Texted into phonetic gibberish. I fear that libraries, books and dictionaries, in particular will become museum curiosities with the world of communication relegated to the picture-key cash register at McDonalds.

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