I’m quite fond of some good ol’ clichés; I use them and I’ve come across many in recent articles. Yet they are considered a no-no in writing.
Cliché, defined: a phrase or idea that has been used so often that it is no longer interesting or effective. (Source: Oxford American Dictionary)
There’s a reason why a cliché is a cliché; like a quote, sometimes it describes something so succinctly, that – depending on the nature of the writing – it might be just the right wording you’re looking for.
Recently, I read an article in the New York Times by A.A.Gill: My London, and Welcome to It, that was dotted with clichés; from phrases such as the river runs like dark silk through the heart of the city, to non-specific words like charming, wonderful, and beautiful.
Reading his prose, I thought it brilliant; I wasn’t bothered by his choice of words one bit as I was swept away by the tongue-in-cheek writing style.
While I do strive to do justice to my travel writing by utilizing concrete descriptions, I believe there to be a time and a place for clichés. But that’s just my two cents.
While silence may be golden, I’d love to know your thoughts: when do you think it right, or wrong, to use a cliché?
In the meantime, kick your feet up and scroll through images of a lush and blooming Williamsburg, peppered with some oft-used phrases. Enjoy!
Stop and smell the roses.
Old meets new.
Spring to life.
No pain, no gain.
Everything but the kitchen sink.
Labour of love.
Nip it in the bud.
Knock it out of the park.
Photographing til my heart’s content.