Tuesday, August 08, 2006


Cleshays --- I don't know how to do the accent mark on cliche yet --- are looked down upon, but they are there because they work.

Say a person was "rattled" and you know just what is meant. "Go jump off a cliff" is self- explanatory. So is "go jump in the lake." And "cautious optimism" --- a White House favorite over the years as in "the mood in the White House today is one of cautious optimism." Also he/she has "fallen in love."

Use 'em.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ehh, this might be just a pointless rambling from a creative writer, but I disagree that cliches are especially effective, at least as far as writing goes. I think that people use them because we are inherently lazy and they meet a minimum standard.

You could say that someone was "rattled." Or you could give a detail like "She was so nervous that her shaking cup spilt all over the Government Relations intern." (True story!) I think the non-cliche is more effective (even though it's longer) because it allows the listener to assess how nervous she was, rather than just taking the speaker's assessment that she was "rattled."


AEI Government Relations

August 09, 2006  

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