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Article Title: Why greeting-card clichés are utterly empty yet full of meaning


Article Summary

This article deals with the topic of greeting cards and how although they are cliché but still help to unravel the emotions of the language.

As a method of communication, the giving of greeting cards stands in stark contrast to this phobic attitude to cliché, and functions in a manner that throws many of the problems of this phobia into sharp relief. Cliché is the life-blood of greeting cards as they thrive on it.

The author further briefs us about the flourishing greeting card business in the US. The strange thing is that moments of love and loss are not the place where language finds its truest expression of meaning but are in fact the place where meaning itself starts to break down, where language as a whole reveals its incapacities. These greeting cards are something which help us express something which we aren’t able to.

The author concludes that the axis of articulation and absence of speaking and silence, is the dilemma that language continually re-presents.By recognising the radical imperfection of language, cliché can help reduce the damage it does. The continual return of these stock phrases reminds us the feeling but they can never capture the essence . 

Article Link: Click here to read the full article


Words to Learn from this article:

Cliché: a phrase or opinion that is overused and betrays a lack of original thought

Nemesis: the inescapable agent of someone’s or something’s downfall

Abject: experienced or present to the maximum degree.

Infinitesimally: extremely small.

Mellifluous: pleasingly smooth and musical to hear.

Ameliorate: make (something bad or unsatisfactory) better.


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