Thursday, April 14, 2011


How was that speech? Start with the defense of liberalism.

Adam Serwer:
[H]e basically ended up giving the most full-throated rhetorical defense of American liberalism I think I've ever heard him give., your Plain Blogger:
Liberals have wanted a full-throated affirmation of why government is a good thing? Obama delivered.
Steve Greene? Yup:
In yesterday’s speech about his budget plans, Obama finally makes a full-throated liberal defense of the welfare state.
TV, too. The Ed Show:
President Obama's full throated defense of liberalism was in full steam today.

Or perhaps it was the attack on Paul Ryan?

Steve Benen:
[T]his was a full-throated condemnation, not just of the radical Paul Ryan plan, but of the far-right goals it intends to pursue.
Jamelle Bouie
Obama begins with an account of the situation (short story: blame Republicans) and hits his stride with a full-throated attack on Ryan's proposal:
But at least...take it, Ed Kilgore:
To these folk, Obama's speech probably represented a continuation of a deeply flawed strategy, albeit not so bad as the full-throated endorsement of the Bowles-Simpson recommendations that some had feared,

Not really my place to speak, but I will ask: is the phrase "cliche-ridden" actually a cliche itself?


  1. I'm a copyeditor, and I am going to to dissent a bit from the point here. Yes, it's annoying to see that word over and over, but I don't think this is an instance of cliche. It turns out that there's only one word to express the thing they're trying to express, so they're all using the one word available. "Full-throated" isn't a metaphor, it's the word that says the thing they mean to say. "Vigorous" isn't a synonym. I'm not sure there is a synonym.

  2. Wow, can you give yourself a 'catch of the day'? You have my full-throated vote!

  3. Martin: whole-hearted? enthusiastic? passionate? yes, vigorous? one of those with "sincere" or "thorough" or some such (no rule against disjunctive descriptions, you know)? -- Though to be honest I'm not totally sure what "full-throated" means. OED only has a Keats citation ("Thou, light-winged Dryad of the trees‥Singest of summer in full-throated ease" -- "Ode to a Nightingale"), of dubious aid.

  4. Martin: not a metaphor? Maybe not, but it's somewhere between metonymy and synecdoche. It's metonymy in that the throat is "associated" with the will and here stands in for it; it's synecdoche in that the throat is a part of the whole person, whose will is expressed in the full-throated utterance. It's also a literally descriptive adjective insofar as people do tend to use their whole throat when they speak with conviction. Maybe that's you're point: you can't bash people for using an apropos adjective.
    Me, I saw it as a wholehearted, two-fisted, full-throated, gutsy, visceral ejaculation -- not half-assed by any measure.


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