Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Wreaking havoc help line

Some things just go together. Like peanut butter and jelly. Like Katie and Couric. Like arsenic and old lace. You get the picture.

But few things go together with such strength as “wreaking” and “havoc.” Seriously, have you ever seen one word without the other? Try to use just one of those words in a sentence. I’ve never known a havoc that had not been wreaked. Well, June Havoc maybe. Early in her career.

Ask yourself: what would wreak do without havoc? While you are asking, has anything other than havoc ever been wreaked? The Wild Wind, that’s close. But I cannot dredge up any other word combination with such a knee-jerk response.

Can you?


Anonymous said...

Sure..the VERY incorrect, and always said on TV by the newsreaders with
looks of consternation, "totally destroyed." Mike

Jeff Hebert said...

As a geek, I have to go with "Cry HAVOC! And let slip the dogs of war!" Which is either from Shakespeare or Star Trek depending on the company you're in.

Another combo you rarely hear as separates is "veritable cornucopia". I don't even know if cornucopia come in anything but veritable quantities.

Laura Burns said...

Cry "Havoc," and let slip the dogs of war. -- Julius Caesar, Act III, Scene 1.

Bob Huffaker said...

Agreements are never reached, completed, discussed, or decided. They're always hammered out. Writers have been wreaking this blacksmith metaphor upon us although the last administration's formerly hammered president cast havoc in bronze.

sph said...

My "pet peave" is "very unique".

Anonymous said...

Does wreaking ball fit there...? B.

annie'sbuddie said...

Another pet peeve "various and sundry"

Ken Martin said...

What we're talking about here, folks, are clichés, and the list is endless. The writer who has the brain engaged seeks to avoid clichés, of course, as these mental crutches require fresh thinking.

As for wreaking havoc, my wife (unwittingly) amuses me saying things wreck havoc, so now that's our running joke.

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