Wonderful World of Cliches

I mean the title of this post with almost complete sarcasm. Cliches are good in some instances, when you want to sum something up quickly or when you’re doing NaNoWriMo and you can’t think of any other way to describe a situation than to use a cliche… that kind of thing. But other than a select few circumstances, they’re mostly annoying. As of this very moment, these are my most hated cliches, probably because I take them too literally and end up laughing over them:

1. Touch base

I don’t know why this one grates my ears so much when I hear it. You most often hear it in a professional environment, and that has nothing to do with baseball whatsoever. “Let’s touch base after lunch and talk about the XX project.” “Oh, we’re going to play baseball after lunch! Awesome!” Not.

2. You can’t have your cake and eat it, too.

What do you mean, I can’t have my cake and eat it, too? I don’t want my cake to get stale! And I definitely don’t want anyone else eating my cake!

3. A dime a dozen

Nothing is a dime a dozen these days. Nothing. So when you say something like, “Kittens are a dime a dozen,” I’ll be sad because I’d be tempted to go out and get a dozen kittens, only to remember that not even kittens are free…

4. Chip on his shoulder

When I was a kid, I never understood that one. I always took it literally and thought someone actually did have a chip on his shoulder. Like a tiddlywink or something. Or a potato chip. Then I learned it means that the person has a grudge. Much less exciting.

5. Kill two birds with one stone

You have to have really good aim to do that. But it’s cruel to birds, so don’t. In reality, this is a cliche I use all the time, then I remind myself not to use it for the sake of birds everywhere.

6. I’m ___ years young.

Saying your age like that doesn’t make you any younger, sorry.

7. Snowball’s chance in hell.

Who says that hell’s not actually a cold place? (My version of hell would be.)


What are your most annoying (or most amusing) cliches?

8 thoughts on “Wonderful World of Cliches

  1. While I can spot a cliche a mile away (is this getting ridiculous yet?), they can be super-helpful in drafting, as you noted with NaNoWriMo. I’ll write one, then put “cliche” in brackets next to it so I can find it easily when editing.


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