on cliche

Until now, I have professed to despise cliche as empty (which is itself a cliche), and am ashamed at my stupidity. Cliche is powerful. The fact that people use it as a throwaway expression is hardly an argument against why it was coined in the first place. Which is itself a cliche–there was neither coining produced by a central authority nor a specific time at which the cliche in question came to be. They simply evolve and sink their hooks (another cliche) into our speech, our writing, our thought.

Cliches exist for a reason. They are a kind of popular poetry, a vernacular canon. That few care to explore their depth is far from an argument against their use. It is the proof of their power.

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