Using clichés

Clichés are a quick way to express familiar concepts. Because your brain heard the phrase many times, it knows the meaning without thinking about the writer's intention.

But the danger is that one cliché makes the rest of the writing seem lazy or low-quality and cause you to skim through the words. Nothing stands out because there is no way to differentiate the time you read the cliché from all the other times you've read it.


The Real Reason You Shouldn’t Use Clichés

With so much content on the internet, few get noticed. When you do get noticed, it's another accomplishment to have your words read. But you only really build a career as a writer when your audience remembers you.

Clichés seldom create memorable writing. One cliché won't ruin your writing but ensure you are using them sparingly and with intention.


For example:

Matt took the first sip, volunteering to be our guinea pig.

Matt took the first sip, volunteering to be our laboratory mouse.

In the first sentence, we don't visualise the guinea pig. It is only in the second sentence that we 'see' the scientist, the white coat, and the mouse. This is because we associate animal testing with rats and mice, not guinea pigs.


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