Great cricketers have inspired great literature with their legendary exploits on and off the field but former Test cricketer Ravi Shastri is now all set to go down in the annals of the gentleman’s game for having contributed a whole new word to the English vocabulary through his exploits as a professional cricket commentator.
Lexicographers from the Oxford University Press have admitted ‘Shastri-cliché’ as a new entry to the lexicon with the following description:
Shastri-cliché Noun \shäs-tre- kle-'sha\
Definition of Shastri-cliché
1. One of 50 odd phrases frequently employed by former Test cricketer Ravi Shastri to describe various passages of play in cricket, a quaint bat and ball game invented in 16th century England and now commanding huge followings in erstwhile colonies off the British empire, especially India.
2. An extremely hackneyed, trite phrase used to characterize a situation, usually in a superficial and artificial manner, and reflective of the communicator’s vacuous state of mind.
1. Root taken from Sanskrit word for ancient Indian scriptures of learning and wisdom but now ironically used as a pejorative to convey lack of imagination and depth.
2. First known use in 1999 when Ravi Shastri said “get the feeling this could go down to the wire” while commentating during an Indo-Sri Lanka ODI match.
Examples of Shastri-cliché
1. Intervening in the debate on challenges posed by terrorism, the PM said, “Looks like we have a match on our hands,” to which the Leader of the Opposition retorted, “Oh please, spare us your Shastri-clichés.
2. In trying to diagnose reasons for declining market share, the brand manager said, “I really don’t know. All I can say is that this could go down to the wire,” to which the CEO acerbically interjected, “I need a solution, not a Shastri-cliché. You are fired.”
Synonyms for Shastri-cliché: bromide, platitude, trope, shibboleth, groaner, banality, truism, chestnut, yawn-inducer
Explaining the rationale behind the addition of the world to their dictionary, chief philologist Sir James Huntington said, “Well, we are very fussy about admitting words originating from the sub-continent but had to make an exception in this case when even the Queen used the word to chastise Prince Phillip after he impishly told her to flash and flash hard at the crowd during the diamond jubilee public procession.”
The word and the set of phrases associated with it are rapidly gaining currency in America as well, especially in the charged domain of political rhetoric. President Obama during a stump speech to rally support for his policies proclaimed, “My fellow Americans, permit me to resort to a Shastri-cliché. Over a billion dollars have been spent, dozens of banks have been bailed out, millions of new jobs created, and in the end, it is only fair to say that America is the winner,” to rapturous applause from the crowd.
(Reproduced with permission from http://www.theunrealtimes.com/. The UnReal Times is one of the top websites for satire, spoof, parody and humour in India.)