cliche William Safire, Fumblerules, 1990: "Last but not least, avoid cliches like the plague." And if you must use a cliche, don't put quotation marks around it.It should provide more advice than that. Until then, though, Oxford's Web advice is useful.
Cliches are words and phrases that have been used so often that they’re no longer very interesting or effective.It then asks, What is wrong with using cliches? And it answers:
They tend to annoy people, especially if they’re overused, and they may even create an impression of laziness or a lack of careful thought. Some people just tune out when they hear a cliche and so they may miss the point that you’re trying to make.Finally, it provides three Action points for avoiding cliches. Here are headings for each point:
- Think about what the cliche actually means
- Decide whether you actually need the expression at all
- Rewrite your sentence.