We were watching Heston Blumenthal do weird shit with potatoes on telly last night. At one point, Heston and a bunch of mates he had never met before cried out, “Here's one I made earlier!” Heston explained that they were coining a phrase.
No, they weren't. When you coin a phrase, you invent a phrase that nobody has ever used before. For example:
- degaussing the ocelot;
- unfolding the Queen Victoria;
- seeing the back of one's forehead;
- hat, kettle, dumpling, bun-bun-bun!
(Don't bother Googling them, I've already checked.)
What Heston and his cronies were really doing was employing a cliché. And, if I wanted to be really pedantic, I would point out that “Here's one I made earlier!” isn't a phrase at all; it's a fully formed sentence!
Yes, I know, everyone—including myself—says to coin a phrase when they really mean to employ a cliché. The people who originally used the phrase in this way were probably being ironic. But nobody seems to think about it these days; to them, to coin a phrase actually means to employ a cliché! Which is the exact opposite of its original meaning. How ironic is that?
Anyway, I've had enough of this nonsense and confusion! I am inventing a brand new phrase which, from here on in, means to invent a brand new phrase. And you are not allowed to use that phrase ironically, because I have copyright on it, and only permit you to use it in a totally non-ironic sense. And that phrase is:
- to Carter a phrase.
(Don't bother, I Googled that as well.)
Immortality at last!