Cliches

We all use them even though we shouldn’t. They’re the fast food of language use – cliches. While I could spend another few hundred words writing about people who fit that description, today I’m going to focus on the non-human kind.

Cliches have their uses. Native speakers of a language instantly understand your meaning when you use them. Of course, there are regional and generational gaps in that notion.  Even as some folks try to use them to make them selves clear they wind up becoming less clear by the use of cliches. People may understand your words but not your intent.

At first blush, you might say I’m off base but let’s give it the old college try (no, dummy – quit while you’re ahead). You want to sit tall in the saddle when you write and speak? Don’t gild the lily with cliches. You’ll cut the mustard with your readers who won’t feel as if they’ve bought a pig in a poke –  it will speak volumes about you, and hopefully they’ll go to school on your well-crafted writing.

Do you think something fishy is going on?  Something’s rotten in Denmark?  Do I speak with a forked toungue?  Don’t split hairs.  Get down to brass tacks, to the nitty gritty – let me know what you think.

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1 Comment

Filed under Helpful Hints, Thinking Aloud

One response to “Cliches

  1. spottedturkey

    au contraire mon fraire!

    While I do agree that fast is to food like mold is to bread, there are foods (i.e, chicken and gravy) that can be served up fast at the local grocery store and which are considered comfort food.

    In the case of cliches in writing, maybe you should think of them as quick, comforting words. A form of universal language that provides comfort to its readers.

    Also, in a world of “30 words or less”, believe the use of cliches enables a writer to convey a thought in 3 words vs. an entire paragraph.

    I use cliches often, epsecially in my blog titles but I always add a twist to them. My hope is that I will catch people off guard, asking why, and hopefully, reading more.

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