Just making it crystal clear ... (snapped at Port Moresby).

Cliches that grate ... and grate

1) "Why have children if you're not going to raise them yourself" ... said about working mothers, as if a few hours in care constitutes raising a child.

2) "It's PC gone mad" ... this should only be used mockingly - a catchcry for lazy, moaning talkback radio callers.


3) "Religion is the cause of all the wars in the world" ... the 20th century was the bloodiest in human history and its violence was largely instigated by atheists, i.e. Hitler, Stalin, Mussolini and the entire communist movement.

4) "I literally" - for example, "It was so funny I literally pooped my pants" ... no, you didn't. Or maybe you did.

5) "Mum and dad investors" ... used as if all investors are dear old cardigan-wearing oldies trying to save for a private hip replacement - not the greedy baby boomers trying to make a quick buck that some of them are.

6) A "please explain" meeting ... trotted out in political and TV circles to justify unnecessary spending of taxpayers' money or when a top broadcaster becomes an unofficial promo-boy for SkyCity.

7) "I didn't come down in the last cabbage boat" ... when used ironically it's OK, although it still might be considered patronising/xenophobic, as it was when it was originally spoken.

8) "I'm glad you asked me that, Geoff. But you know the real issue facing New Zealanders is ..." blatant evasion.

Golfer gets a possum in one

Rosemary writes: "My husband played a game of golf in Howick. He had been playing with some mates and on one hole he hit the ball which looked to him like a good shot ... unfortunately it hit the top of a pine tree and went thud against a branch. When they went to find the ball they found it at the bottom of the tree with a possum that had fallen out. The creature walked around in circles for a while, then fell over dead. They had a look at it and found it had a massive bump and cut on its head. My husband had just hit a poor old possum with a golf ball."

Correction: Earlier versions of this column said the prohibited sign photo was taken at Hobart International Airport, when it was actually in Port Moresby.