Do not use any clichés in your writing

Logan Rashke, News Editor

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A cliché is a saying or idea that does have some meaning, but its value has been stripped away from it being overused in conversational communication. That is my personal definition of a cliché. An idiom, like “it’s raining cats and dogs,” can also be a cliché.

Here’s an example of a cliché: All that glitters is not gold. This means that attractive physical appearances of things are not always indicative of their true quality.

Yeah, when someone came up with that saying for the first time, it was probably very profound to the ears it fell upon. But how many times in your life have you heard that exact saying? It gets old, doesn’t it?

Clichés do little but devalue what you have to say when you’re communicating in writing. Don’t tell me “when life gives you lemons, make lemonade”—tell me what you really mean specifically.

To really show you what I mean when I say clichés are bad in writing, just read this fictional story I wrote using mostly clichés and idioms:

I guess everybody has these days. I woke up on the wrong side of the bed this morning, looking ugly as sin, and lost track of the time.

I drove to school like a bat out of hell but hit every red light on the way, and each one lasted an eternity.

I arrived just in the nick of time. I waltzed into class, my tail between my legs, to find my professor and classmates laughing till they cried.

Like a deer in headlights, I just stood there gawking.

To my dismay, I was wearing my birthday suit.

“Why don’t you take a picture? It’ll last longer,” I said.

My professor, busting a gut, chortled, “A picture is worth a thousand words.”

I wear my heart on my sleeve, so I cried buckets of tears and ran away faster than the speed of light.

Well, what’s done is done, and you know what they say: There’s no use in crying over spilt milk.

If you suffered after reading that, for one, I apologize. Secondly, now you know what I mean when I advise against using clichéd language.

Clichés and idioms are a pain to read. It’s overused, empty language devoid of any originality and deeper meaning.

If you’re a writer, say what you mean and mean what you say. Oh no, I just used one, didn’t I?

Logan Raschke is a junior journalism major. She can be reached at 581-2812 or at [email protected].