Sunday, August 09, 2009

Be kind to a cliché - leave it alone

Clichés are sensitive creatures, and are best left alone to fend for themselves. Picking them up and putting them into your blogs does them no good at all. Over-use (or in some cases any use) can do them, and your prose, serious harm. Just say no to clichés, particularly the following, which are in grave danger of over-exposure. For the sake of clarity, I have suggested some alternatives.

- It's not rocket science (It's simple)
- Thinking outside the box (Being creative)
- Tastes like chicken (Can't describe the taste)
- It's a no-brainer (It's obvious)
- If you can dream it you can be it (Actually you can't, so this is a lie as well as a cliché)
- A bad day at the office (A bad day)
- It's a marathon, not a sprint (It takes a long time)
- Change is the only constant (More nonsense. Sometimes things stay the same for ages)
- Young and old alike (this adds no meaning at all, so may be dispensed with altogether)

So please be an enlightened blogger and leave the poor clichés alone.

Thank you.

1 comment:

Rob said...

Hi Alan

You're so right: thankyou for this 'just say no' advice. And I think I could add a few more:

- One stop shop (we meet all your needs)
- Level playing field (everything's equal)
- Cutting edge (innovative)
- Future proof (will survive future developments ... if only we knew what they'll be!)
- Paradigm shift (adjust your thinking to new ideas)
- Left of field
- I'm really pleased you asked me that (no I'm not)

And perhaps the most common of them all:
- At the end of the day (dusk? midnight?)