Tuesday, July 01, 2008

The Cleeshay Cops

Cliches - are they much ado about nothing or are they the nuts and bolts of our writing?
Time is of the essence, but I'll make it plain and simple otherwise we'll add insult to injury and suffer the consequences.

In a word a cliche can line the pockets of gentlemen but a rotten apple can spoil the barrel. Beggars can be choosers and a carefully chosen old chestnut can make or break a book. I say, at the end of the day, a little of what you fancy makes the world go around.

I may be preaching to the converted and that you all have a cliche on the tip of your tongue but I suspect that the cliche that doesn't kill us makes us stronger. I may be barking up the wrong tree and a cliche is a whole new ball game to you but don't throw caution to the wind, or the baby out with the bathwater - think before you act. Too many cliches can spoil the broth leaving a piece of writing that is a packet of crisps short of a picnic.

So, in order not to teach your grandmother how to suck those eggs I suggest avoiding the red herrings and the rabbits that are pulled from hats. I don't want to rub salt into the wound but please choose your one and only cliche with care and do as I say not as I do. In this way you will live to write another day because a rose by any other name is still a cliche!

17 comments:

John said...

Word to the wise...

leslie said...

http://www.westegg.com/cliche/

Jon M said...

You're right, by George, it's as plain as the nose on my face now. But I think you could have put that in a nutshell for us, at the end of the day.

Minx said...

The wise are currently up shit creek without a paddle, John, so the 'word' is about as useful as a chocolate teapot.

Good link, Leslie, I use this one - like stealing cliches from a baby.

Oh, oh, are we having a cliche war, Jon M? I'm pleased as punch because that will separate the men from the boys.

gregra&gar said...

Oh, no … it's as plain as the grindstone to which my face has put its now less obvious nose that every day in every way I shall remain cliché free.

Debi said...

You've silenced me! My tongue is cleaving to the roof of my mouth and my typing fingers have seized up.

Sayings become cliches cos they contain essential truths. The challenge for us as writers is to come up with ways of saying the same thing using a fresh set of words. Shit - I've gone all serious ...

This is one very clever post, Minxerooni.

Roberta said...

I looked at this as a calf looks at a new fence. Then I walked around the house like a blind dog in a meathouse,trying to think of a response.

Now that I read my response, I think this calf needs licked over.

john.g. said...

"I may be barking up the wrong tree."

Leave "up the wrong tree" off and you'll be about spot on!

Taffiny said...

Did someone mention crisps and salt?
Hmm, I'm hungry, must be time for lunch.

The early bird may get the worm, but the grass will still look greener on the other side of the fence.

Now where can I get me one of those chocolate tea pot thingys? No matter the melting concern, I'm sure I can find a swallowable solution.

Jan said...

Amazing post, this.
G'night and God Bless and Hope The Bugs Dont Bite..

Wanderlust Scarlett said...

Oh my Lord, this is more fun than a barrell of monkeys!
We'll look on the bright side and remember that patience is a virtue.

What a good idea!


Scarlett & Viaggiatore

Jon M said...

Probably the sheep from the goats, all in all.

Minx said...

Less is more, G&G!

Silence is golden, Debi, heh! And yes, perfectly true, just another way saying exactly the same thing - why do we bother?

You need licking, Roberta? Really!!

Barking is good, John G, I would expect nothing less.

That was a packet of crisps short of a picnic, Taff (one of my favs). There must be a hundred different versions of this and I'm sure that you Merkans have a few of yer own.


Thanks, Jan, cliches are always worth a laugh.

Patience is not a virtue, Scarlett, apparently you have to grab your chances while you can before that bus runs you over!

Speak for yourself, Jon M! I suppose we all have to separate the wheat from the chaff but I am not a goat, definitely not a goat - although I do know one....

mutleythedog said...

Had you noticed - I have spotted the odd cliche in your post!!?? Talk about pot , kettles and black hay?

Minx said...

Really, Muts? I hadn't noticed.

fatboysblogg said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Reading the Signs said...

I think it all depends. If you are brilliant, like what I am (and you also, presumably), then a cliche is nothing to be afeard of because we know where to stick 'em and how they might be put to our service and, er, redeemed. I mean a couple of years back the poetry police would have us believe that words like 'moon' and 'heart' were verboten because they had been over-used and were therefore cliches (no, I'm not kidding) but you could say condom as often as you wanted, in fact it would earn Brownie points if you did. We fight the good fight, Minx.