In which I Carter a phrase

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!

Richard Carter

A fat, bearded chap with a Charles Darwin fixation.


  1. Very good Sir!

    I find myself wondering, though, what would happen if one attempted to degauss an ocelot? Should I practice on the cat?

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