• Philip M Russell

Speaking better English - Clichés

Updated: May 25


Clichés What are they? When would you use them?
Speaking better English - Clichés

A Cliché is what you write or say when you can't think of a new way to express an old idea. A Cliché is a tired phrase or an old way of saying something. A Cliché is used in spoken English much more than in written English. Many people consider a Cliché used in a book to be dull and unimaginative.

There are hundreds if not thousands of Clichés in Modern English, so many are used in the written word; it is just that people don't realise that fact. Let us have a look at some commonly used Clichés. Most of these Clichés are used by my Mother when she talks to me. These Clichés are in use in everyday spoken English.

· a chip off the old block · a far cry · a foregone conclusion · a lick and a promise · all fingers and thumbs · a picture's worth a thousand words · a safe pair of hands · a sight for sore eyes · after my own heart · all talk and no action These are just some of the most common Clichés I can think of, beginning with the letter a. So, what do these Clichés mean? § A chip off the old block - you behave just like your Father - you are a chip off the old block. § A far cry - a long way off from what you expect. The movie is a far cry from the book § A foregone conclusion - The outcome is already known. Whether grand-dad will come is a foregone conclusion. § A lick and a promise - I will give this a short treatment. - I haven't got time to clean this properly, so that I will give it a lick and a promise. § All fingers and Thumbs. - Being very awkward. - I am all fingers and thumbs today § A picture is worth a thousand words means that complex and sometimes multiple ideas can be expressed by a single still image, which conveys all its meaning than the verbal description. - Your picture is worth a thousand words. § A safe pair of hands. - Someone who can be trusted. The company is in a safe pair of hands. § A sight for sore eyes. - Someone you are glad to see. You are a sight for sore eyes. § After my own heart - Someone who has similar likes and dislikes to your own. You are someone after my own heart. § All talk and no action - saying that someone will say they will do something but then not doing it. My Father is all talk and no action. Clichés come from all types of English. Some are idioms, some synecdoche's or adages. Regardless of where they came from, they are all Clichés.

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