Wednesday, November 3, 2010

The Cliche-Finder

LOL - GalleyCat recently posted this link to something called a "Cliche-Finder." It posts 10 random cliches (with a button to push for more).

Sure, it's an amusing little time-waster, but it's also valuable to writers as a tool, to recognize cliches. I always teach my classes to avoid cliches like the plague (lol) because cliches show lazy writing. I learned this pretty late in my writing journey, but once I realized how to recognize them -- and why it was important to avoid them -- my writing started becoming more fresh, more original.

Why are cliches so bad? Well, using cliches means we're leaning upon another writer's clever way of describing something. It's not plagiarism (because the phrases are so common). But it is "borrowing," in a sense. Using something we've heard before. Something that wasn't ours, to begin with...

Plus, cliches, by their nature, aren't unique, original, special. And we should always be striving for "unique, original, special" in our writing.

1 comment:

  1. Interesting. Thanks for the link! I'm glad to see that I've never used those! (I didn't click for more yet though)