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Updated on June 2, 2010

Hackneyed phrases & clichés are every respectable writers' anathema! But I just can not stop loving them! The fact that certain words & phrases become clichés , by itself speaks volumes about their usefulness in our day to day idiom. With a pest -like persistence, the ubiquitous clichés rear their head anywhere & everywhere - simply refusing to die! What makes them tick? Is it the ‘me too’ mindset of people or is it that these are irreplaceable expression?Well, one can certainly debate that.

If one looks at, well, the innards of clichés, one will realize that these contain a wealth of wisdom - all packed in a neat phrase or two which simply cannot be bettered any further! No amount of clever word-smithery can put such pithy wisdom in so few words! No wonder these all-weather phrases come up again & again- much to the chagrin of some prudes! When a granddad advises his grandson, “Avoid clichés like plague", he often misses the fact that he's falling headlong into the very same pit he was trying to avoid!

Often when one decides not to touch certain clichés even with a barge pole, one gets a helpless realization: There’s no substitute for these ! A writer has even compared clichés to those politicians who are hated by all yet get elected every single time!

Ever tried to pen a few words & heard that buzzing sound? It's not a gadfly trying to survey its next supper-field. It’s those ugly little clichés entering through every pore in your head & displacing all other neat words you've collected so painstakingly.

But rest assured you are in great company in this hour of misery!

Clichés are phrases that have lost its glitter due to repetitive & often indiscriminate use; however, calling these pretentious or simply kitsch would be being uncharitable. After all these aint mean fellas! While some clichés can boast of blue-blooded ancestry others trace roots to well known writers & historic events.

Over the years clichés have rendered relentless service to mankind. When it comes to conveying a point, you just can’t beat them! In fact these can be lifesavers! Don’t believe this? Go & ask any one who’s just achieved anything of merit when cameras glare searchingly and the microphones jostle furiously with each other & quick sound bytes are demanded. The poor achiever, knowing very well that there is neither a chance of fight nor of flight, can not but clutch to handful of nice clichés. After all, a cliché in need is a friend indeed. (next time the contenders of the Miss Universe crown declare world peace as their sole mission on earth don’t get surprised, they are just mouthing a time tested cliché ).

Have you ever seen diplomats (yes the same people who are paid to shut up) mouthing clichés without even a minor twitch of the brow! After all, these wise men know the miraculous powers of clichés only too very well. As many would agree, better being a mealy-mouthed person than a fire mouthed one.

So guys, if you cant beat 'em, join 'em !


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    • LogicalSpark profile image

      LogicalSpark 7 years ago from India

      Thanks drjb for the reading the hub & the comment.

      Cliches can prove to be great tools for the "tongue-tied"

      will certainly read your hub

    • drbj profile image

      drbj and sherry 8 years ago from south Florida

      Hi, Logical Spark - had to come and visit you. This is a true-to-life distillation on the subject of cliches. Just "goes to show" "as luck would have it" "at the end of the day" if "you always walk on the bright side" "all is well that ends well." Whew. Now my brain needs a rest.

      Visit my hub and read my take on proverbs - just another meaning for cliches. "Popular Proverbs Interpreted."

    • LogicalSpark profile image

      LogicalSpark 8 years ago from India



      To save newsprint & time , maybe we should take a clue from the telegraph office. List & number ALL the cliches. Next time a diplomat is asked a tricky question, all she needs to do is smile, wave her hand & say ," The answer is cliche Number 75. Thanks!"

    • LogicalSpark profile image

      LogicalSpark 8 years ago from India

      Yes Di, can anything replace the gems like:

      Law will take its own course

      May heavens' choicest blessings shower on the newly weds

      Let's grab the low-hanging fruits.....

      et cetera ?

    • profile image

      Feline Prophet 8 years ago

      Long live the cliche! I agree with you LS, if it didn't do the job so well a phrase wouldn't have become a cliche in the first place.

    • dianacharles profile image

      dianacharles 8 years ago from India

      When I have my back against the wall and I am lost for words, a good ole cliche comes galloping along to the rescue, like a knight in shining armour... ;)

      hey nicely written LS. glad to see that you are being so prolific these days.

    • LogicalSpark profile image

      LogicalSpark 8 years ago from India

      PS :

      The good old telegraph offices were quick to realize that clichés are of great commercial value. They just numbered them & sold them to unsuspecting souls like you & me! Afterall not everyone can be creative while condoling!


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