Hackneyed phrases.....

Jun 12, 1999
I don't know how you all feel, but if i read one more review that says something like "The hair from my arm/leg/stomach/ears jumped off in fright when I merely opened the Blahblahblah knife, it was THAT sharp!" I think i'm going to shave the hair from my throat from the inside out....Let's all agree to put that phrase in the same black hole that Pauly Shore fell into, k?

Rant over, thank you and goodnight.... =)

I can picture in my mind a world without war, a world without hate. And I can picture us attacking that world, because they'd never expect it.
Very funny......and I agree.

You sound like a Marine: "I can picture in my mind a world without war, a world without hate. And I can picture us attacking that world, because they'd never expect it." That sounds like something my sons the Marines might say

Why is it that the first thing some folks want to do after getting a new knife is go after body parts? It is strange, indeed. Thanks again for the laugh.
And while we are at it, how about all the "IMHO" and other "just my opinion" disclaimers? (“Your mileage may vary” is about my least favorite.) Don't we all realize that not only are these just opinions, but opinions of anonymous strangers with hidden agendas?

I think I will change my signature to “The above is the Gospel Truth, and if you disagree you are wrong.”

"For that kind of money you could get a true custom knife."

I nominate "scary sharp". Although I have to admit there are only so many colorful metaphors out there to use.



tsk tsk. metaphors will go as far as your imagination will take them.

what about slap-yo-grandpappy sharp?
whathafugg sharp
sharper than inference
at least as sharp as a father's glare when you take his daughter out for a night on the town
sharper than fate's reckoning
sharper than taco-hell chili farts

what about putting edge testing to good use, and tying up hairy-backed people, and checking edges on them? This blade made Billy jo Bob's back smoother than a pint of mad dog.

etc. etc.

this knife was so sharp it cut the money right out of my wallet.
could shave pennies off a dollar
sharper than a baby's scream
sharper than a PMS temper

the list continues. Have faith in our language.

<stepping off of soapbox>


PS if you use any of these, please send 5$ to my swiss bank account, # 4433kff334324525
The ever popular "Sharper than a Serpents tooth".

"Cuts breath" was my grandfathers favorite.

Funny stuff chizpuf!
shootist16 do you have any other ways to discribe the sharpness of a blade! Sure would like to hear some.


[This message has been edited by jacko (edited 27 August 1999).]
At least there is a modicum of information when you say that a knife "scares the hair right off my...". It most likely indicates that the knife will take a very fine edge that shaves smoothly. This is useful to know and may be preferable to hearing just how the writer shaved some particular body part.

We could develop a series of standardized sharpness tests and just throw numbers in our posts. It had a Rockwell of 60 and "Razy" of 27 might be dull and tend to exclude new visitors.

I guess I can tolerate trite phrases if they are short and descriptive. At least no one is typing in "mall speak" y'know like.

I actually liked the truly obsessive description of sharpening a blade in the following link:

[This message has been edited by Jeff Clark (edited 27 August 1999).]
If you want to cure the blade world of repetitive phrases and metaphors as worn out as Saddam Hussein's underwear after an eight year fabric embargo, try taking up a knife from your collection and write a review of it. Slap that review in the appropriate BF area. I think one will appreciate how difficult it is not to fall into the rut of a well worn phrase. I am sure writers would prefer some new phrases to beat to death too.

After all, it is not everyday we see a review that begins, "Pulling the solidly designed piece of steel from its carefully crafted Kydex sheath resulted in a sensuous hiss that reminded me of the first time I really made love to a woman." Those people all write for the Penthouse Forum or create romance novels for a living. We could probably use some of this type of flair in blade writing in general.

Wouldn't you just once rather read, "The hair fell away from my arm with as much rapidity and ease as Romeo's dagger did pierce Juliet's broken heart"? It really isn't very difficult.

How about, "The blade cut through the corrugated cardboard sheets much like Alexander the Great cut through the armies of Asia Minor--as if nothing at all were in the way of progress."

Even, "The blade bit into the soft pine two by four about an inch and three-quarters deeper than the IRS did into my wallet after my last audit" would be a vast improvement over the same old riffs on the "hot knife through butter" crap.

The problem with most knife reviewers is one of simple dryness. These guys in the main are technoguys. They have little in the way of literature or romanticism in their backgrounds. They worship engineering and precision with passion but largely cannot translate their ecstasy into an enjoyable English sentence.

I believe even stock removal techniques could be described with a little more magic and mystery to it than the simple cataloging of the belts and wheels used and the methods employed. There is an universe of sensory experience the typical writer misses while in the shop, or out in the field. Not even many of the guys who do hunting articles do very well describing the primal, almost sexual thrill of "Buck Fever".

Hell, once or twice way back when, poetry of legend, heroism and virtue rolled off of the tongues of minstrels as they told of epic men and their mythical steel. No less deserving of some creative, yet factual writing, are those bladesmiths and their products of this dying century.

Knives are phallic. Despite what you might think they do radiate raw masculine power on at least a subconcious level. To some they are sensual. To some they are empowering. Knives have a hypnotic allure to some. Some lust after them as much as they do for any person. This is a part of knives and knifemaking that doesn't exist in any other area of tool or weapon making. Knives demand that they be written about using the full force of creative description and sensory imagery. Knives demand poetry and prose as sharp and powerful and as carefully crafted as humanly possible. It is too bad that most writers cannot get to the heart of the matter, to the depths of the emotions that knives tap, prefering to simply scratch the surface of perception and description resulting in the same boring thing over and over.

As soon as I figure out how to get people to give me their product to destroy, or merely handle depending on whether the knife is for serious work or for art, I might segue into writing knife reviews part-time. It would be a challenge and an honor to take nineteen years of school, primarily spent being steeped in the nuances of the English language, and unleash it upon one of my favorite subjects rather than churning out boring legal documents. It could turn out to be fun and profitable for all I know.

If you have a knife you want to give me for a review let me know and I'll get started. I promise not to destroy any knife that isn't mine until you or a company gives me carte blanche to do so. It would probably be easier to start with a knife I don't know. Perhaps I'll just have to wait until I can make my next big purchase.

[This message has been edited by lawdog (edited 28 August 1999).]