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Friday, May 8, 2009

Avoid Cliches

Why should you avoid cliches? Cliches are expressions, figures of speech, that were at some point in the past fresh and creative figurative language, but today they are overused and often times boring. I would also add that cliches may fail to accomplish their intended purpose.

EXAMPLE: The groom developed cold feet hours before the weeding. (cliche)

EXAMPLE: A few hours before the wedding, the groom called the event off, purchased a single airline ticket and boarded a plane for Alaska. (detailed)

Which of the above sentences is more effective?

Here is a very small list, but if you want to read more, go to Cliches: Avoid Them Like the Plague for a more extensive list.

A bottomless pit
Bite the dust
An axe to grind
A carrot on a stick
Cold feet
Don't make waves
Cute as a button
Make my day
Out on a limb
Stop and smell the roses
From the ends of the earth
Go with the flow


  1. Cliches are often used over and over. I usually avoid them sine I really don't pay attention if or when I use them unintentionally. I just have to avoid my strange wording and complex sentences. But this post does send out a message, Professor.

  2. I try and avoid cliches like the plague.

  3. You sound so like my husband; I sat here and grinned. He is always reminding me to watch out for cliches. I actually printed out your list. It would be fun if you did a post and everyone added their cliches so that I would then have a really long list. Lol!!. I hope you are doing well dear Mar. I've been so swamped with work. But I've been thinking of you and wanted to stop in and let you know that you ARE in my thoughts. Often. Love, Robin

  4. A colleague of mine describes cliches as "intellectual laziness." I think that phrase pretty much says it all.

    Great to hear from you again Kelvin. Hope your college experience is still a postive one. are a very witty man. :>)

    Robin you too are in my thought always. I have taken a short break from blogging but I will return with full force.

  5. yah,. made english more inappropriate to use.


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