Friday, July 1, 2011

Friday Fives: That is so Cliché

It's time for Paper Hangover's Friday Fives! Here's what the fab eight wants to know this week...

In case you don't know what a cliché is, here's the Merriam-Webster version:

a phrase or opinion that is overused and betrays a lack of original thought.

You know - quiet as a mouse, see the writing on the wall...

As writers, most of the time we avoid clichés “like the plague” (that’s not overused), so I’m avoiding some popular ones in my five faves:

AND...since I’ve lived in the south the past twenty years, I thought I’d share a few “overused” expressions that may or may not be cliché to you:

1) Stupid is as stupid does

2) Well butter my butt and call me a biscuit

3) And from Mater: I’m happier than a tornado in a trailer park

I use a variation of this next one in my current WIP (hahahaha)

4) Absence makes the heart grow fonder

And two that I can’t live without in my day job:

5) An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of manure

6) It’s easier to ask forgiveness than permission

Yeah, I know. I exceeded the limit (imagine that). Soooo—here are two of my favorite literary clichés:

7) Brevity is the soul of wit (Shakespeare)

8) I go to seek a great perhaps (Francois Rabelais)

One of my favorites from my very first project:

9) Same bat time, same bat channel

And just because Madeleine L'Engle CAN make it work

10) It was a dark and stormy night

I have others (of course!), but I’ll stop here—you know—since I ALREADY went over the limit.

What’s YOUR favorite cliché?


  1. I like #6. One of my friends is always reminding me of that quote also #8

  2. I like your take on this! I totally live by ABSENCE MAKES THE HEART GROW FONDER, and I've always been a fan of asking for forgiveness rather than permission. :)

  3. OK, being a yankee from MA, I'd never heard the biscuit, tornado, or manure ones. HILARIOUS. It's even funnier when I picture it being said in Paula Deen's voice.

  4. LOL @ #2. I've spent thirteen years of my life in the south and never heard it before now. ;)

    Cliches can be a lot of fun to use now and then. I don't know if I have a favorite. One that comes to mind from many years back is the phrase "nervous as a long-tailed cat in a room full of rocking chairs" but I've never used it.

  5. Hahaha! Love the first three! What a great list!

  6. I have never heard any of these cliches! But I love #2. :)

  7. My favorite one for the office is "Hey, I just work here."

  8. "It was a dark and stormy night" ALWAYS leads on to a good story. You know it's true.

  9. Hmmm...can't think of any but then again I'm pooped from all the hair loppings I did today.

  10. Haha! These are great. I use cliches sometimes, too, but usually ironically. They're fun to work with. You picked some great ones. I love the Souther ones!

  11. "It was a dark and stormy night"- My favorite! :)


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