clichés

clichés
1. A cliché is a phrase that has become meaningless with overuse; for example, it is now meaningless to wish someone a nice day because a once sincere intention has become an empty cliché. The French word cliché means a stereotype printing block, which produced the same page over and over again.
2. Fowler's entry in this topic (1926) was less than six lines long, and quoted only two examples: a minus quantity (as in Clothing among them was a minus quantity) and the order of the day (as in Engine troubles were the order of the day). Since then, the list of fixed expressions that are commonly regarded as clichés has grown, and everyone has their own favourites from those they condemn in the usage of other people. Anthony Burgess mocked clichés in Inside Mr Enderby (1963): He was, however, on the whole, taking all things into consideration, by and large, not to put too fine a point on it, reasonably self-sufficient. The list can be extended with the following, among others: at the end of the day, at the tender age of (anything up to about 30 depending on the context), at this moment in time, conspicuous by one's (or its) absence, the elephant in the room (something obvious but too awkward to mention), explore every avenue, in this day and age, keep a low profile, leave no stone unturned, the light at the end of the tunnel, move the goalposts, on the back burner, over the moon, put your money where your mouth is, ruffle feathers, sick as a parrot, situation (as in crisis situation), level playing-field, not my cup of tea, take on board, until such time as, you name it.
3. Despite a vigorous defence by Nicholas Bagnall (A Defence of Clichés, 1985), they are normally condemned or ridiculed on grounds of style. Christopher Ricks wisely observed (1980) that ‘the only way to speak of a cliché is with a cliché’.

Modern English usage. 2014.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • CLICHES —    Because Westerns are mythical, they depend heavily on familiar conventions, symbols, and characters. At times these features of Westerns become cliches. Among the most common cliches are the opening scenes: Two lonely riders saunter into town… …   Westerns in Cinema

  • cliches —     A week may be a long time in politics. But its a light year in the global economy (Observer) , Lawyers were last night considering seeking an injunction for the book, which was selling like hot cakes in London bookshops over the weekend… …   Dictionary of troublesome word

  • cliches — n. stereotypical expression, commonplace phrase, truism …   English contemporary dictionary

  • List of sports clichés — This is a list of clichés related to sportsClichésports clichés used in business:According to Dr. Don R. Powell, licensed psychologist and president of the American Institute for Preventive Medicine, sports clichés are used in about 50 percent of …   Wikipedia

  • Two Fists/All the Cliches Under Broadway — Infobox Single Name = Two Fists/All the Cliches Under Broadway Cover size = Caption = Artist = Polvo Album = A side = B side = Released = 1994 Format = Split Recorded = Genre = Indie rock Length = Label = Penny Farthing Records Writer = Producer …   Wikipedia

  • Be Yourself and 5 Other Cliches — Infobox Single Name = Be Yourself (and 5 Other Cliches) Artist = Rock Star Supernova Album = Rock Star Supernova Released = November 21, 2006 Format = CD single Recorded = 2006 Genre = Hard rock Length = 3:10 Label = Burnett/Epic Records Writer …   Wikipedia

  • Liste d'exemples de clichés dans les œuvres de fiction — Liste de stéréotypes dans les œuvres de fictions occidentales Certaines scènes marquent les œuvres de fiction de culture occidentale. Une bombe à retardement a toujours un compte à rebours avec de gros chiffres lumineux rouges. Cette même bombe… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Cliché — Pour les articles homonymes, voir Cliché (homonymie). Un cliché tenace : la femme au foyer Le cliché, du français médiéval, « clicher » ou « éclisser » (faire rejaillir …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Genre de personnage de fiction — Cliché Pour les articles homonymes, voir Cliché (homonymie). Un cliché tenace: la femme au foyer Le cliché (substantif masculin), du français médié …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Stéréotype fictionnel — Cliché Pour les articles homonymes, voir Cliché (homonymie). Un cliché tenace: la femme au foyer Le cliché (substantif masculin), du français médié …   Wikipédia en Français

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.