Episode 17

Chase Replogle

Your Clichés Are More Dangerous Than You Think

Every writer knows to avoid cliché, but we still can't help ourselves. What do they suggest about our writing? They are more dangerous than you might expect.
Every writer knows to avoid cliché, but we still can't help ourselves. What do they suggest about our writing? They are more dangerous than you might expect.
00:00 22:50

Show Notes:17. Chase Replogle — Your Clichés Are More Dangerous Than You Think

Every writer knows to avoid cliché, but we still can’t help ourselves. Like garden weeds, we pluck them only to find them growing again the next day. Good writers keep weeding, but why do cliches come so naturally? What do they suggest about our writing? They are more dangerous than you might expect.

Sol Stein, in his highly recommended Stein on Writing, explains:

“A cliché is a hackneyed phrase — stale, trite, banal, commonplace, corny, dull, musty, redundant, repetitious, tedious, threadbare, timeworn, tired, tiresome, worn-out, boring. If you prefer to focus on just one definition, it should be ‘tired from over use.’ Clichés weaken your message, having little or no effect on the reader.”

Stein continues:

“Words have power. Words strung together in clichés have lost some or all of their power. Clichés are a sign of a tired mind that settles for a well-worn rut instead of climbing to exciting new heights. Your job as a writer is to energize people, not put them to sleep.”

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