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As George Orwell pointed out more than half a century ago, the storehouse of the English language occasionally needs a good sweep. In the hands of excited, careless or tired writers, words and phrases that once were new or uniquely descriptive become so overused that they seem to threaten the integrity of the language itself. With a broom (or rather, cartwheel) in hand, CounterPunch editor Alexander Cockburn attempts a cleaning.

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