This hilarious illustration is the Ravi Shastri of journalism cliches

This hilarious illustration is the Ravi Shastri of journalism cliches
Photo Credit: Karl Sharro
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The stage is set. There’s a keen contest on the cards. At first glance, this might serve as a cautionary tale forcing us to think outside the box. But if you probe the matter and upon deeper reflection, you might conclude that this is just what the doctor ordered.

Confused? Most print journalists would find the lack of any semblance of meaning in the previous paragraph oddly comforting (or infuriating), because its made up of some of the most common cliches of newspaper copy.

A couple of years ago, the Washington Post‘s Sunday Outlook attempted to collect all the far-too-familiar phrases and idioms that journalists keep falling back on. That list, from “at a crossroads” to “only time will tell,” is now at 200 cliches and counting.

India has its own overused phrases, the most famous of which (at least for those of us on Twitter) is keen contest on the cards, a headline used so commonly by the Hindu that a Google search turns up more than 2,000 pages with that title.

India also has its own Ravi Shastri, a cricketer-turned-commentator who turns the form into an exercise in mouthing as many cliches as possible in the shortest period of time. Googling Ravi Shastri cliches, from electryfing atmospheres to a cracker of a game, will give you many more results than the keen contest.

Now Karl Sharro, an architect, satirist and blogger, has designed a house that brings together some of the most common elements of journalism and political punditry.

Some of the are a little more foreign – smoke-filled rooms and blue-sky thinking would be rather exotic references in Indian news copy – but the writing on the wall and the moral high ground are far too familiar. And don’t even ask about the elephant, um, in the room.

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