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…