Top 20 Google search results

Last night, I wrote an article in my blog that used the expression "trotting out that tired old cliché" as the first of ten sentences that describe examples of bad writing while at the same time using the poor style within the sentence itself, which I thought was pretty clever. (Mental note: add to the list "11. Congratulating yourself on being clever, 'cause you da man.")

The original cliché on which that sentence is based, of course, is "trotting out that tired old horse." It means to bring up an argument that has often been used in similar debates, but does not necessarily have much substance. For example, if I say that children spend too much time playing video games, and you reply that video games are actually beneficial because they build hand-eye coordination, you would be trotting out a tired old horse. Also, you would be making shit up.

"Trotting out that tired old horse" is my favourite cliché. (Please do not be alarmed by the fact that I would even have a favourite cliché. I assure you that I am not a crazy person.) However, I've noticed that the word "horse" is often dropped, breaking the cliché. In fact, a Google search yields 284 results for "trotting out that tired old" but only 1 for "trotting out that tired old horse."

If you've read this far, you must, like me, be wondering what the other 283 results are. Well, here are the top 20 for your reading enjoyment.

1. And please, trotting out that tired old European angle to bolster your argument?

2. In particular, I want you secular humanist types to stop trotting out that tired old line "Judge not, lest ye be judged" as the catch-all defense against any and all moral judgement levied against you and your demented ways.

3. Asman turned to Walker for help ("What about that?") & Walker obliged by citing "remarkable success" in the Middle East & Russia, by claiming that Bolton has had a "distinguished" career (although he failed to specify in what way it was "distinguished"), & by trotting out that tired old nag: the charges against Bolton are "partisan" & "not real."

4. He needs to read Isaiah Berlin before trotting out that tired old carnard and passing it off as an original "thought".

5. Gas prices are up, deficit estimates are up even higher, Bush's approval ratiings remain in the toilet, and trotting out that tired old "nine-won-won" chestnut doesn't seem to be working anymore.

6. The United States has taken a dangerous path these past few years, and no doubt, those on the extreme right who so enjoy trotting out that tired old "fall of Rome" myth regarding the perceived debauchery of today would do well to also consider the corrupt, arrogant and incestuous leadership presently infesting our government.

7. Goldy, shame on you for trotting out that tired old anti-democratic trope about the 2000 election.

8. Don't you all ever get sick of trotting out that tired old myth?

9. I can't believe he's trotting out that tired old "there is no difference between the parties" bs after three years of GWB in office.

10. I do hope you're not planning on trotting out that tired old argument of non parents not being in a position to have an opinion on parenting.

11. Usually it's the new people trotting out that tired old bat.

12. I cannot believe Morris is trotting out that tired old rubbish about men being carried away by their urges and therefore unable to stop.

13. Grow up. I gave you relevant facts. You don't want to check them, that's your decision; but quite trotting out that tired old "victim" mentality for us.

14. I'm pretty amused at you trotting out that tired old horse about there being no point in taxing the rich since they won't pay it anyway.

15. Have we been reduced to trotting out that tired old cabal card?

16. Oh dear sweet God, not another person trotting out that tired old line about Iraq.

17. So the usual suspects are trotting out that tired old sentence structure.

18. Even worse is Hughes' trotting out that tired old saw about Branwell being the real force behind Wuthering Heights.

19. There they go again, trotting out that tired old "loved to death" scare, without quoting a single valid statistic to back up their claim that increasing use is "exhausting the recreation resource."

20. I have explained to you that time dilation is not due to delays in the transmission of light signals, yet you insist on trotting out that tired old chestnut once again, all the while pretending you haven't read anything which says differently.

(Whew! That last one is a real zinger!)

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