Robert Harris wrote in the telegraph in 2002
“I’m not trying to be snooty about this. I can’t remember whether I’ve ever actually used it myself, but I’ve certainly used plenty of quotations like it – aphorisms that fall into a particular category: just above the out-and-out cliche and just below the level of something genuinely apt and unfamiliar.
I always know when I’m using one, because I generally find myself introducing it with the adverb “famously”, as in: “As X famously observed . . .”, a formulation that serves the useful function of signalling that I know what follows is fairly hackneyed, but – what the hell? – I’m going to use it anyway, in the hope that not too many people will notice.
I’ve not bought a souvenir mug or planted a memorial tree, but it strikes me that one useful way of marking the Golden Jubilee might be to avoid, say, 10 historical and political quotations that are too often used by columns such as this.”