The new normal is kicking the can

June 14, 2011
Michael McDonough has this wonderful chart:

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Michael McDonough has this wonderful chart:


Clearly the “new normal” meme is on the decline, and equally clearly “kicking the can” is developing a life of its own, having won the battle of minds against the cutesy rhyming phrases (“extend and pretend,” “delay and pray,” “fake it till you make it”).

I prefer “kicking the can” to “new normal,” on the grounds that it actually contains the tiniest morsel of actual meaning. But still, the cliché has definitely reached the annoying stage at this point. Any suggestions for what is going to supplant it, once it begins its inevitable decline?

Update: Jim Ledbetter informs me that Kick the Can is a popular US children’s game, which has nothing to do with its economic meaning. If it’s not the game which is the source of the phrase, where and when and how did people start talking about “kicking the can down the road”? Is that something people do? And what’s in the can?


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