Tuesday, June 6, 2017

TIP TUESDAY: TRITE DOES NOT MAKE RIGHT

Gentle Readers . . . and Maxwell,

Some expressions are overused to the point that they become trite (clichés) and lose their impact. People get tired of hearing and reading them, so they reduce the force of your writing.

Here are some clichés to avoid:

  • as cold as ice
  • to make a long story short
  • over and done with
  • the spitting image of
  • stick to your guns
  • the depths of despair
These trite expressions have been around for quite a while, but we also have some newer ones that I don't want to touch with a ten-foot pole:

  • back in the day
  • no worries
  • my bad
  • same difference
  • chill out
  • someone's got a case of the Mondays
  What are some clichés you find annoying? Share them with us, and I'll holler at ya later.


Infinities of love,

Janie Junebug

Sources: Harbrace College Handbook and https://goo.gl/5r8wdZ


45 comments:

  1. When I started out writing I thought clichés was a good thing. That it made my writing sound more like that of other writers. Luckily I quickly learned it wasn't good at all. And I think I avoid them in my writing;)

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    1. I don't recall that you have a problem with them.

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  2. I use cliches now and again when the mood hits me. But usually I just play it by ear or by the seat of my pants. It ain't rocket surgery.
    R

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  3. Dead as a doornail. All ears. There are so many...why, they're thick as thieves!

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  4. I hate when I'm told "No problem" instead of "You're welcome". Wouldn't they have done it if it had been a problem?

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  5. Oh boy, I always say "Back in the day..." Of course I'm stuck in the 70s anyway...
    And I also say "no worries"
    Oh well.

    Michele at Angels Bark

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  6. One that sets me off, when I say Thank You and they say No Problem. I didn't ask if you had a problem. I thank you. You're Welcome is the proper reply.

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  7. I'm not fond of "at the end of the day."

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    1. I hate "it is what it is." What if it isn't?

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  8. "No problem; not a problem; no probs," etc to the request to refill a drink, or, as Coffeypot says, the response to Thank You.

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    1. One of my sisters insists that the correct response to "thank you" is "surely." I've never heard anyone else say that.

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  9. How about something that should be avoided like the plague?

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  10. Can't think of any offhand. Brain too tired. I know I don't seem to mind them in blogs or letters or emails. They bother me more in books or magazines where I expect a little more creative ingenuity.

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    1. Agreed. Casual use is not much of an annoyance.

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  11. The thing about cliches is that they were powerful before they were overused. But some get me thinking. Example is the SPITTING image. Where did the spit come in? Or how?

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    1. That will be a good one for me to research.

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  12. I think "back in the day" developed because people didn't want to say "back in the good old days" any more. (That's cuz anything or anyone that's old is bad, don'tcha know.)

    Every time I hear "my bad" is ask "Your bad what?" When the hell did bad become a noun?

    I've been familiar with "same difference" for a long time. I never use it, I'm just familiar with it.

    One that really bugs me is "It's all good." "All," as in "everything?" No, sorry, everything is not all good. (Hm. I once did a very brief post about that on my first blog. I think I'll rerun it tomorrow.)

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    1. I'm getting kind of old, and I'm getting better--like a fine wine. Now I can't stop using these sayings. It's like reading Dr. Seuss and then rhyming everything.

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  13. How about "when the rubber meets the road" and "net-net"?

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  14. I like "back in the day." As I get older and older, the days I often think and write about are back there, somewhere....

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    1. If you like something, Inger, then go for it.

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  15. I resemble many of these :)
    My bad. Prolly.
    Oops ♥

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    1. You're not getting older; you're getting better.

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  16. I do try to avoid cliches but I don't care how people talk to me (or write) as long as I can follow the thread of their thought. What people think and feel is more important than how they express it. In everyday speech I feel awkward saying You're Welcome, so I was glad when No Problem came along. I realize I'm swimming against the tide here :)

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    1. Keep swimming, Jenny. You're fine with me.

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  17. For someone who is not a native English speaker, cliches can make sure that everything gets lost in translation. I had the same thing happen to me when I moved to The Netherlands and was trying to understand and learn to speak Dutch. Dutch idioms and cliches are even funnier than English ones. Linda@Wetcreek Blog

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    1. Maybe you'll write a post about that, or perhaps you have and I've forgotten it. If so, my bad.

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  18. No prob bob.................lol
    Seriously though I hear ya, some of these get on my nerves

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  19. I guess I'm just as guilty as the next person with clichés! I can't really think of all that many that bother me but "it is what it is" can get a bit annoying.

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  20. Hey Janie,

    Cliches are one of my um, pet peeves.

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  21. Interesting thoughts, thanks for sharing.

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  22. 'No worries' is one I use frequently, when speaking or writing a comment, along with a few others, but not in a formal piece of writing.

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  23. Oh I have and domuse many of these but I also will add some I say every once in a while since they were my dad's sayings..." her eyes look like two piss holes in the snow." " that s.o.b. Is as useless as a boar's tits" or "That s.o.b. Is as useless as a dog's hind leg."

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  24. Worse comes to worst!(and sadly I cannot remember the one my boss used twice in back to back sentences this morning)

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