Question: What is a “malcliché” and what are its intentions?
Answer: Traditional cliché: “The love of money is the root of all evil.”
Malcliché: “The love of money is the route of all evil.”
Summary: An unintended variation on a cliché that leads to some interesting thoughts about what it means.
Comment: This article is an example of an idea that is fun to think about. There are few such articles in today’s professional journals. Articles for this purpose used to appear in College Composition and Communication under the heading “Eu d’esprit.” They often poked fun at those educators who were deadly serious about issues in English teaching. And they were fun to read. In this article about “malclichés, the author follows through with reflections on what these unintended uses of clichés by wide-eyed, innocent, naïve freshman comp students (and others) might have really meant by substituting one word for another. RayS.
Title: “The Malcliche: An Argument for an Unlikely Episteme.” Cathryn Molloy. College English (November 2010), 138-155.