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Authors

Don Hauptman

Abstract

One of my pet linguistic peeves is the widespread misuse of the adjective proverbial. Consider a recent example, from a magazine profile of a government whistleblower: "When she grabs hold of something, she is like the proverbial dog with a bone in its teeth." Of course, this expression is not a proverb; it's a metaphor or simile. Or, less charitably, a cliche or bromide.

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