Clichés, Meaning and Death

Ah, good times. Yep. The good old days. Wicked. Please stop using clichés. Invent new phrases, ways of expressing yourself. Why choose the easy piss-poor expression?

Nice one. Take it easy. How was your weekend? Cool! Don’t give in to laziness and prick your mental use to devour, deflower your listener/reader.

Avoiding clichés is one of the fundamental lessons of good writing. Any writing course tutor will drum that into the willing student. So why is it acceptable in speech?

Writers take their time when crafting their sentences whereas speech is different. Speech is more autonomous. But writing can also be autonomous. I could, if I wanted to, hammer out a novel in a day. I could, but I won’t, because it’ll be a mess.

Why is it acceptable for speech/mass communication to be a mess? Why can’t I watch football without having to listen to ninety minutes of clichés? Is John Virgo paid per cliché in his snooker commentary?

Why can’t I be around people without having to endure their childish expressions (it’s alright innit) and tone-death intonations (American/English/East End/Australian)? Typical, clichéd, back-patting behaviour. What’s the ape going to eat? A banana of course!

And you’d think book people would know better, but I watched World Book Night programmes and was appalled at language use. The phrase “sort of” became synonymous with every subject. Sort of a good read. Sort of entertaining. Sort of original. Lame lack of precision because we’re trying to sound sort of educated but don’t want to be presumptuous so we’ll sort of tiptoe round everything. A classic read. A timeless read. A masterpiece. Enough to ruin the reputation of any book.

Clichés are a plague and that in itself is 90% towards becoming a cliché. Where will it end? When brain matter will finally collapse into vegetative putty and then we can all crawl into our text/email/social network and lie there naked, pure and dead.

Job done. Get in!

Bogdan Tiganov

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One Response to “Clichés, Meaning and Death”

  1. Suko says:

    Many do revert to clichés in both speech and writing, and catch phrases take the place of original expression. (Is it due to the limits of language, or to our own limits?) A true artist finds ways to be fresh and vital.

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