Margie Lawson, teacher of the Deep EDITS system and popular writing immersion classes, encourages authors to write fresh. And one of the ways to do that is to eliminate or put a new spin on (cliché alert) those overused phrases known as clichés.
To illustrate her point at a recent workshop I attended, she read a clever poem she wrote that uses something like 81 popular clichés in about 90 lines of prose. She had us all laughing, but also got me thinking about overused expressions in my own writing.
The first step is awareness, right?
Within days of her talk, I heard a newish song by Django Django called Default. The lyrics remind me of Margie’s poem because the song is an endless string of common phrases, but still seems to have a point. It’s so overdone that I can’t help but think the singers are poking fun at themselves and our use of language. Maybe the whole point of the song is that clichés are our default.
Give it a listen, but beware, it’s catchy and just might stick to your brain like mud on a hog. 😉
Do you have a favorite cliché? Or one that you hate? Do tell.
Photo credit: Bob Jones [CC-BY-SA-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons