Cliché: not necessarily a bad thing

I may have dared in a recent post to call something cliché, which resulted in one bizarre response of not just taking offence, but serious personal issue with the comment. So I would like to clear up the misconception that all clichés are bad.


Bad clichés do exist, obviously, hence their negative connotations. For example, ‘it’s not you, it’s me’. This is a bad cliché daaahling because it is usually accompanied by a coward, a crying person and a patronising packet of Kleenex. Another terrible and pervasive cliché is the portrayal of women in literature as either virgins or whores, but I don’t have all day.

However, many clichés are brilliant and that is precisely why they have become overused. In my opinion ‘love at first sight’ would be a wonderful cliché to come into being. This is the again true of a white Christmas, red roses on Valentine’s Day and a classic sob story on X Factor.

Clichés are not intrinsically evil, they are merely common forms of expression, and the only way that that is bad in itself is if you are trying to proclaim your originality.

So perhaps before throwing the baby out with the bath water, the toys out of the pram or crying over spilt milk, it would be helpful to consult a dictionary.






“a phrase or opinion that is overused and betrays a lack of original thought.”


“a very predictable or unoriginal thing or person.”



I do apologise to the many of you already aware of this definition but, at the end of the day, a problem shared is a problem halved.


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