We’ve all said it, done it, written it, read it in marketing and elsewhere. We’ve all used the ubiquitous cliché.
The guy in the office you call, “A breed apart.”
Mentioning the “hustle and bustle” of your day.
Things that will “knock your socks off.”
IT’S TIME TO STOP.
Clichés creep into our writing like ants onto an unswept floor. It happens when we let our thoughts wander, or push too hard to get things done in less time than they need. Think about how often you hear people say, “ya know,” or “I’m, like” in ordinary conversation. Clichés, yes – because we are not as mindful of our words as we should be.
“Clichés were like plaque in the arteries of the imagination,
they clogged the sense of what was possible. “
(Charlie Jane Anders)
Here are five clichés to avoid in marketing, or any form of communication:
- At this point in time… Each second that passes is “this point in time,” By the time you’ve finished saying or reading the phrase, the point in time has passed. Instead of “At this point in time you may be shopping for a new oven,” just say, “Shopping for a new oven…”
- Each and every… “each” is individual, “every”is collective. Pick one or the other.
- In other words… Generally used as a dependent phrase when you think the way you originally phrased something is too complex to be understood. Rather than expressing it twice, work a little harder to simplify what your saying right from the start.
- Quite simply… This is a variation of “In other words.”
- Due to the fact that… Stop it. Just state the fact. “Tom won’t be at work today, he broke his leg skiing over the weekend.”
What clichés do you think are the most annoying?