Most annoying word--what's a cliche, anyway?

Subject: Most annoying word--what's a cliche, anyway?
From: Geoff Hart <ghart -at- videotron -dot- ca>
To: Peter Sturgeon <prsturgeon -at- yahoo -dot- com>, TECHWR-L <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 01 Mar 2006 14:53:01 -0500

Peter Sturgeon notes: <<What makes it a cliche? By many definitions, being "overused.">>

Which leads to that famous report from a class of Shakespeare students: "OK, so he's a great writer, but why'd he have to use so many clichés?" (Not an urban legend... my wife reported this from one of her classes. Really! I've heard other anecdotal evidence of similar comments.)

Perhaps I'm being a bit cynical here, but I've found that something is a cliché if you don't like the writer or what they're writing about. If you like them, it somehow becomes clever use of an archetypes or trope.

I've seen this very interesting phenomenon occur in a writer's group hosted by two name-brand authors who had no problem with their own use of cliché, or that of their friends/lovers/political-critical allies/whatever, but who pounced hard on the exact same wording in someone else's writing.

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Geoff Hart ghart -at- videotron -dot- ca
(try geoffhart -at- mac -dot- com if you don't get a reply)
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Re: Most annoying word--what's a cliche, anyway?: From: Peter Sturgeon

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