Christy Billings, my colleague at the veterans’ writing workshop,  suggested we do a session on clichés. Thank you, I think. Because my speech at the Mark Twain House is occupying most of my brain cells at present I’ll share my list today and tomorrow. I will spare you my least least favorites, which are all the Christmas-related sayings.

First the definition: an overused or hackneyed expression, usually a lazy way of writing. The term comes from the French word used to describe the sound that a mold with letters on it made when it was dropped into hot lead to make a printing plate. The plate itself was also called a cliché or stereotype.

The image comes from Urban Dictionary,  which says that the Twilight series is one multi-volume cliché. And no, I haven’t read any of the books.

Here are my least favorites, mostly culled from TV “news” people:

  • Old habits die hard.
  • Rain did not dampen …
  • Time will tell.
  • low-hanging fruit
  • Three times is the charm.
  • “… from Hell,” as in the date from, the movie, etc.
  • You can’t teach an old dog new tricks. (Aside from being a tired phrase, it’s not true, per Larry.)
  • having said that
  • herding cats (Let’s use mountain lions from now on.)
  • due diligence (unless one is complying with a contract)
  • kick the can …
  • at the end of the day
  • going forward (I actually heard “to go forward going forward.”)

To be continued…

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