Chuck The Cliches and Be a Better Writer!

A "cliche" is described as an expression or phrase (originally meant to be very clever and witty) that is so overused that it loses its impact and gets to the point of being annoying. Here's how to avoid them ( NOT like the plague)

“Hey Jack! What are you doing this weekend? I’m headed for a beach party on Saturday night. Awesome! So who’s the DJ? David Guetta. Jack that is so awesome! Mary, you have to agree with me that Natasha’s act today was simply awesome.” How many times have you come across this overused and trampled-upon cliché? Whether it’s a TV judge commending a participant’s performance or a friend applauding your achievements, you will encounter the word – Awesome – at least five times in any given conversation. If you are a writer or you aspire to be one then stop right now. Avoid “awesome”, plain and simple.

The boss wants a report to be completed by the end of the day and you say, “I’ll submit it in a jiffy”. The biggest mistake, you ever made. Now your boss expects you to submit the report in less than 30 minutes. You are working on a case study and you get stuck. You need an excuse, so what do you tell your peers? “Hey, I got to head to the bathroom. I’ll be back in a jiffy.” Most likely, once you are back, the case study would have long been solved and your friends would be more wary of you. Chuck the stereotype and phrase your excuses differently.

“How could you believe what she told you? You just jumped to conclusions without even confirming with me!” Well, I don’t think that’s something new. If you are in a long distance relationship then trust me you
will often hear yourself uttering these golden words. “Are you even listening to what I’m telling you? You always do this and then you jump to conclusions.” Listen to me; stop “jumping to conclusions”!

It’s a cloudy, gloomy day and as you look out of the window, you say, “I think it’s going to rain cats and dogs.” Okay. How come I couldn’t guess that? As a writer, if you begin a sentence such as this – The sky appeared a dull grey and the clouds seemed ready to burst – it starts off on an intriguing note, but you end it like this – Soon it was raining cats and dogs – you bring the start to a clichéd, grinding halt!

I ask you, “I was trying to reach you yesterday. Where were you? I was sleeping like a log. I didn’t hear the phone.” Wake up and don’t let your work sleep like a log!

Get rid of these clichés from everyday usage; they have lost their significance and only seem monotonous. Think fresh and spice up your language!

Written by: Kritika Pramod Kulshrestha

Kritika is an engineer by profession, but an amateur poet and writer as well. She finds solace in writing and loves weaving magic with her words.


  1. Ma'am, This piece of writing is certainly very informative. I'll always keep these suggestions in mind. By the way, I am Rajesh Chandra currently doing BA in English and want to become a good writer (not just a writer).
    Thank you once again.

  2. Cliches are cliches coz of a reason Man...who said that. The brother that played Samurai Apocalypto in Californication


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