Posted by Tammy Krivanek on September 28, 2005
I've been having this debate with a friend about what you would call word groupings that sound grandiose but upon further scrutiny are almost non-sensical such as: "Stand strong in the face of adversity", "cease the moment". A tangible action with a intangible foe. "War on Terror". Something which uses key words to evoke a familiar emotional reaction with something intangible.
What is the linguistic term which would describe it? I think it would be a type of phrase i.e.: catchphrase. He thinks it should be something like superlative.
Any help you could offer would be greatly appriciated.