On The Bench

True confessions—authors doing the cliché two-step

authors and their clichés

Even we authors are guilty sometimes of being cliched in our everyday dialogue with friends and family. What expressions do you habitually use that make everyone roll their eyes and say, yep, that’s him/her?
  • Terry Ambrose:

    Me? Use a cliché? Never…well, the bottom line is that I seriously try to avoid exaggerations…oh, wait, I guess that is kind of cliché. The way I see it…uh oh, I can’t stop now. I’d better stop before I say something incriminating.

  • Nancy J. Cohen:

    I can’t tell what I say in particular, but Marla the sleuth says “Tell me about it.” That’s one of her signature phrases. My daughter says “I know” all the time and now her toddler imitates her. My mother used to say, “And this too shall pass.” It’s easier to point these things out in other people.

  • Debra H. Goldstein:

    Although I usually avoid any cliches in my everyday dialogue, occasionally a “So?” or a “You know” will creep into my vocabulary when I’m talking to “You Guys.”

  • Cheryl Hollon:

    At the end of the day, there’s only one. Yep, it’s “at the end of the day.” Groaning and eye rolling may now ensue.

  • Diane A.S. Stuckart:

    Okey dokey, pokey. Bottom line, I confess I’ve got a few pet expressions that I use. But the one that bugs me is not mine. It’s the one my husband constantly uses…with all due respect. Nope! The minute that phrase comes out of his mouth, I know he has absolutely no respect for the person he’s talking to!

  • Maggie Toussaint:

    Everyone who spends time with me knows I get totally absorbed in what I am doing. Time ceases to exist. Consequently, I am unreliable for meetups that aren’t etched in stone, like a medical appointment or a professional event. For casual drop-over visits, I often say “I’ll be there directly.” I did not realize at first that this phrase meant different things to people who weren’t raised in my subculture. While outsiders think the phrase means “I’m coming right now,” it actually means “I’ll be there when I get done with what I’m doing.” It has inadvertently caused conflict and now, from a certain unnamed person, a lot of eyerolling.

  • Lois Winston

    Having grown up in New Jersey, I can have a bit of a potty-mouth if I’m not careful. Someday I’ll have to write a Booklover’s Bench post about how I learned all of George Carlin’s seven dirty words one afternoon when I was six years old. I do try very hard to watch what I’m saying, though, especially around my grandchildren.



6 thoughts on “True confessions—authors doing the cliché two-step

  1. I have a coworker who says, “To be illustrative”. I drop my head into my hand, whenever I’m off camera, just turn my head and pretend to make a note if I’m on camera.

    And wait a minute, what does living in NJ have to do with cursing?

  2. One of my characters has a great love of all cliches. He thought he was being clever. I let it be known to folks around me of my need for any and all the tired cliches they could come give me. They are still sending them to me! Can you beat that? Will wonders ever…

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