tin ear

noun
1.
an insensitivity to melodic, rhythmic, and harmonic variety in music.
2.
an insensitivity to subtlety or appropriateness in verbal expression: a tin ear for clear, precise prose.

Origin:
1915–20

Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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WordNet
tin ear

noun
1. an inability to distinguish differences in pitch [syn: tone deafness
2. insensitivity to the appropriateness or subtlety of language; "he has a tin ear for dialogue" 
WordNet® 3.0, © 2006 by Princeton University.
Cite This Source
Example sentences
Some writers have a tin ear when it comes to sliding a quotation nicely into a
  sentence.
Unfortunately, he will pay a large price for his political tin ear.
Conversely, he has also retained his tin ear for politics.
The right-wing jingoist who modified a perfectly good piece also had a tin ear.
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