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Saturday, March 7, 2009

Cliché s: A List

In a day and age when innovations are popping up in every field and creativity is a trait to be encouraged and cultivated in one's employees, clichés can be downright fatal to your career if found in your writing. For more on the topic, see this post.

I'd be sorely remiss in my advice if I just told you to avoid using clichés without actually giving you a list of those tired and worn phrases that you should be avoiding like the plague (Ha! I couldn't help myself :).

  • all work and no play
  • apple of one's eye
  • armed to the teeth
  • as luck would have it
  • at first blush
  • barking up the wrong tree
  • beat a dead horse
  • beat around the bush
  • bite the bullet
  • bull in a china shop
  • burn the midnight oil
  • busy as a bee
  • by leaps and bounds
  • calm before the storm
  • can't see the forest for the trees
  • caught red-handed
  • cool as a cucumber
  • dead as a doornail
  • dead giveaway
  • diamond in the rough
  • down in the dumps
  • down on one's luck
  • dressed to the nines
  • easier said than done
  • face the music
  • fate worse than death
  • few and far between
  • fit as a fiddle
  • food for thought
  • free as a bird
  • gentle as a lamb
  • green-eyed monster
  • grind to a halt
  • have an axe to grind
  • head over heels
  • high and dry
  • high as a kite
  • hit the nail on the head
  • in the nick of time
  • in the twinkling of an eye
  • in one fell swoop
  • larger than life
  • last but not least
  • let the cat out of the bag
  • mad as a hornet
  • make a long story short
  • more than meets the eye
  • needle in a haystack
  • neither here nor there
  • on a wild goose chase
  • once in a blue moon
  • pretty as a picture
  • quiet as a mouse
  • rain cats and dogs
  • sight for sore eyes
  • skeleton in one's closet
  • stick out like a sore thumb
  • take the bull by the horns
  • tired as a dog
  • tried and true
  • turn over a new leaf
  • waiting on bated breath
  • wise as an owl
  • wolf in sheep's clothing

Have I missed any? If you know of a cliché that is just SO overused it would spell trouble for any who use it, let me know in the comments or via e-mail and I'll add it to the list!

Photo credit: SunnyUK


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