Ever wondered what the newspapers really mean when they talk in clichés? Here’s your cut-out-and-keep cliché glossary that’s been doing the rounds on email:
Feisty: Short, old female
Controversial: He did something bad but we’re not sure what
Informed source: Reads the newspaper
Confirmed bachelor: See “Flamboyant”
War-torn: We can’t find it on a map
Get Crikey FREE to your inbox every weekday morning with the Crikey Worm.
Venerable: Should be dead but isn’t (eg Gough Whitlam)
Knowledgable observer: The reporter
Knowledgable observers: The reporter and the person at the next desk
Guru: see “Self-styled”
Screen Legend: Reporter is too young to remember his movies
Teen idol: Reporter is too old to have heard of him
According to published reports: We got scooped
Embattled: He should quit
Troubled youth: arsonist
Scrappy: a runt
Beloved: Someone who’s been around so long no-one can stand them any more (eg Bert Newton)
Hero firefighter: He put out a fire
Hero cop: He got killed.
Honour student: Dead kid registered for classes somewhere.
Recently: We lost the press release
First in the modern history of …: no entries in NewsLink
Never: Not in NewsLink or Google
Source who spoke on condition of anonymity: PR flack
Prestigious: Has indoor plumbing
Exclusive neighbourhood/school/club: The reporter can’t get in.
Mean streets: Slums
Street-wise: Hasn’t been hit by a bus so far
Allegedly: He did it but we can’t prove it
Shocking revelation: Leaked on a slow news day
Highly placed source: One who would talk
Supermodel: Her picture was printed somewhere
Beautiful: A woman who’s been savagely murdered
Blonde: see “beautiful”
And there’s plenty more where these came from. Read the full list on the Crikey website here.