First, what are cliches?
Loosely, these are trite phrases or hackneyed expressions. Sometimes called bromides, which are commonplace statements or notions. But being a word derived from French, we may have to seek expert advice from a Frenchman for the word's specific connotations. But the English language appears quite comfortable with its own connotations.
Well then, test yourself and find out how unconsciously we have all become virtual slaves to cliches that have been with the language since time immemorial.
(Well, what do you know? Time immemorial. That should be a time worn cliché. Time worn. Another one?)
We can build essays or concoct conversations without maybe being aware of the cliches used.
Below are passages, sentences, etc. lifted from various sources and littered with innumerable cliches.
Read and take notice.
Writing about cliches is an uphill climb, because doing so is no bed of roses.
Most common are seesaw cliches. As your self-appointed cliché collector/guru, I had my ups and downs. Sometimes, when everything was at sixes and sevens, it almost seemed as though as my dearest ambitions were going to wrack and ruin. I had moments when I was almost tempted to believe that everything was a snare and a delusion. Even my own flesh and blood discouraged me, in spite of the fact that I was their pride and joy. Or that my own kith and kin disparaged me.
For a considerable period of time it was nip and tuck whether I would sink or swim. If I had not been hale and hearty, and well equipped for a rough-and-tumble struggle, I wouldn't have come through. But I kept at it, hammer and tongs. I gave 'em tit for tat. I went after my goal hard and fast, eschewing wine, woman, and song.
I worked morning, noon, and night, and kept to the straight and narrow. The consequence was that in due course of time, victory seemed assured. That is, things began to come my way by fits and starts, and a little later by leaps and bounds. Now, I feel fine and dandy.
Now, I venture to predict that no man, without regard to race, creed, or color, is a better master, by and large. And this, in all due modesty, though I think there is no rhyme or reason to it.
Now, some words about myself.
Though I was born in the altogether and on the impulse of the moment, I'd say that it was just in the nick of time. And this is straight from the shoulder, revealing to you my true colors.
Growing up, I kept trying to combine single blessedness with wedded bliss. It didn't work. I had a sweetheart in every port, and I worshipped the ground they walked on, each and every one of them.
But I was land-poor at the end and you can take the advice of a sadder and wiser man. Better not tangle with the weaker sex. But am I hard pressed for cash? No, since I am well paid. Get paid with a princely stipend in the coin of the realm. But I do not give a hoot for money. It is after considered the root of all evil.
But I don't complain. I am as snug as a bug in the rug. I'm clear as crystal - when I'm not dull as dishwater. I'm cool as a cucumber, quick as a flash, fresh as a daisy, pleased as Punch, good as my word, regular as clockwork, and I suppose at the end of my declining years, when I'm gathered to my ancestors, I'll be dead as a doornail.
I have a finger in every pie, all except this finger which I use for pointing with scorn. Which I do always with malice afterthought. My standing offers are on the table though at time at cross-purposes and in dire straits. I keep my ulterior motives to myself, though littered with vicious circles and sneaky suspicions. My likely stories are also filled with fiendish glee.
Though behind the throne, I show tender mercies and get lost in thought and at times up in arms. I am a straight shooter with my trusty revolver. My vaunted courage is famous and that is no crying shame. I have been in the depths of despair and have desired a watery grave in the briny deep. Though I eventually want to marry and settle down.
After all, I'm a diamond in the rough, too funny for words. I like to trip the light fantastic and burn the candle at both ends. And this is no sheer folly.