Ever since the shootings at UCSB, everyone’s been on that topic like white on rice. Thankfully, nobody here in the UAE talks about it, but my Tumblr is rife with misogyny-hating and feminism ranting. Which is all fine and dandy. I hate misogyny too. But it’s really frustrating that everyone has used this shooting as a soap box from which to kvetch about their current picking bone.
Am I mixing metaphors correctly here?
Oh, funny aside, my students asked me explain what “cliche” means the other day and I literally could not come with an example that they would know. Cliches, it seems, are not universal, especially to non-native speakers. They have Arabic proverbs, but that’s not really the same thing as cliches that are bad for writing. They think it’s good to use them because they think it makes their writing more relateable to English-speakers and when they do use them, they tend to use them incorrectly, haha. It’s fascinating stuff, I tell you. When I get my shit together, I’m going to collect some actual examples and then write a ton of articles about the ridiculous assumptions educators make about education based on the fact that they grew up in lands of native English speakers. As another aside, my roommate has completely lost her ability to use cliches and I am constantly correcting her. It is the height of hilarious.
What was I talking about? Ah yes, you should all read this article, “How We All Miss the Point on School Shootings.”
Particularly this bit: “[W]e fail to spot shooter after shooter because they are so close to us and so much like us. We miss them because they are our neighbors, our classmates, our friends or even our family members. They are right in front of our noses and we ignore them for a whole host of trivial reasons. Maybe they’re too weird, or awkward, or they’re a loser. We don’t want to talk to them. We put our blinders on and pretend that they’re not miserable, we pretend that they didn’t just have that awkward outburst, we pretend they didn’t just make a joke about killing their own parents.”