ColdFusion Muse

Closet Capers - In and Out

Mark Kruger October 24, 2006 12:26 PM Humor and Life Comments (3)

I have got to stop listening to sports radio. I'm becoming infected with cliche'itis. There are some phrases that are creeping into my language that I'm not happy about. Is it just me or are more and more people using the in and out cliché? Example: "While I am abstaining from donuts now, day in and day out I eat more donuts that a Post-Subway Jared." It also works with Years, "Year in and year out men have more chainsaw accidents." Sometimes (especially in sports) the "week" form is used as in "In hockey players make more trips to the dentist week in and week out than in any other sport."

Now I'm not sure what all this in and out stuff is about. Perhaps it's a carry over from our obsession with closets. In any case, someone needs to explain to me what it means? Here's my guess (using the "week" form of in and out):

  • This week and next - this is a strong candidate. The phrase could mean "the week I'm in" (week in) followed by "the next week" (week out) with "in perpetuity" implied. At least that is how it seems to be used.
  • On Average - This is also a strong candidate based on usage. In the example above you could say "on average" in place of the "in/out" clause. Example, "men have more chainsaw accidents on average each year." The problem is that there is no real correlation. I understand what is meant - but I'm not really sure how I came to that conclusion based on "in and out".
  • Indecision - Perhaps it represents the indecision and lack of commitment on the part of the speaker. Are they in or out - we don't know.
In any case it's a safe bet that up and down the lineup on any given day the boys will go out there and play their game, giving 110 percent. And after all, isn't that what we expect week in and week out?

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  • Rob Wilkerson's Gravatar
    Posted By
    Rob Wilkerson | 10/24/06 11:02 AM
    As a sports radio junkie, I understand where you're coming from. I have to say, though, that I'm far more afraid of the business-world, euphemistic double-speak creeping into my vocabulary than things like "(day|week|month|year) in and \1 out".

    I can't tell you how many times a day I'm asked to "reach out" to a customer and try to solve their problem. No thanks. I'd rather call them and see what's up. There are about a billion (excuse the aggressive hyperbole) other examples, but that one's my biggest pet peeve.

    That said, I hate sports cliches. Not because they're untrue (as the adage says, there's a reason they're cliches), but because no one seems capable of avoiding them. They're so cliche that they should just be skipped. Do we need a sound bite so bad that we're willing to state the obvious as though it's news? Really, you need to take it game by game? Who knew?

    Anyway, if you ever hear me use the phrase "(day|week|month|year) in and \1 out" it's only because I've been spending so much time trying not to "reach out" to others.
  • Mkruger's Gravatar
    Posted By
    Mkruger | 10/24/06 8:55 PM

    Funny you should say that.... Have you read this post on "reaching out" :)
  • Rob Wilkerson's Gravatar
    Posted By
    Rob Wilkerson | 10/25/06 6:53 AM
    I don't remember it specifically, but this has only been really bothering me for the last few months. I may have seen it and it triggered one of those YES! moments where someone put in words a thought that had been lingering on the periphery of my consciousness.

    Great post. That phrase is so incredibly overused around my office. After a while, any overused phrase just becomes annoyingly trite.