I Know This Sounds Cliché

Girl comes up to the bar, haven’t seen her in awhile, but I know she just went on a trip to Europe. Before taking her order, I ask her how her trip went. She gets a big smile on her face, says, oh my God, I had the best time! I ask, where did you go exactly? She says, we started in Rome, then… I say, that sounds great! I saw some of your pictures, looked like a lot of fun. She says, I know this sounds cliché, but…

You know, let’s stop the story right here, and talk about something I want to talk about. It’s that phrase, I know this sounds cliché. Guess what? I use that phrase. And every time I use it, I think, damn. It’s so cliché to say, I know this sounds cliché.

I know a lot of writers detest clichés. Oh they work so hard NOT to say anything that’s cliché. Oh I’ll take this cliché, and make it my own. You know what? We are constantly speaking in clichés, and you probably don’t even know it, most of the time. I LOVE thinking about clichés. You know, it’s cliché to say this, but there’s a reason why a cliché is a cliché, usually. It’s because it’s UNIVERSALLY TRUE. And when you have that, it could be two words that are put together, why not use them when you’re writing? THAT’S HOW PEOPLE TALK. We talk in clichés.

Next time you’re on your iPhone, and typing out a text, notice when you write a word, then the word you’re thinking about using next, is the word that pops up. IT KNOWS WHAT WORD YOU’RE GOING TO USE BEFORE YOU KNOW IT. That’s powerful, right there. And it’s all because we’re basically predictable in what we say, and we all SAY THE SAME THING.

So the next time you find yourself going down the path to saying a cliché, just say the cliché, and don’t preface it with, I know this sounds cliché.

Now go out and buy yourself a hamburger, put some ketchup, mustard and pickles on it. Eat it. Then recycle the bag when you’re done with it.

-Clint Curtis

04_heinz-ketchup

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