Or what if I say, “Friendo, this here toilet’s flushing mechanism just hit a home run.” Have I uttered a tired cliché or used an expression that, like my accent, tells the listener that I am an American? I choose the latter interpretation. It’s not that I am fond of stock phrases. I am just a generous soul who would prefer to think that the speakers and writers I encounter are displaying hallmarks of their culture, not foreign objects clogging their mental pipes. Lack of eloquence is not crime, and stock phrases “are there for the taking” so people who don’t know how to say something clever “can get through the day.”
So the merely inelegant does not invite the sting of my mace, nor the heat of my blade. Nay, my wrath is reserved for the lazy cliché, the phrase too graceless to be colloquial, too devious to be polite, and too faddish to mean anything but that the person has not thought about what he is saying. Or worse, what he is writing.
I have compiled a brief list of internet-era clichés that we need to put onto a raft in the middle of the ocean, along with the collected works of Aerosmith and Starbuck’s Coffee’s roasting methods. After a small ceremony we will give the raft a shove, and then never look upon their like again: