Quotes About Cliches

Quotes tagged as "cliches" (showing 1-30 of 33)
Stephen Fry
“It is a cliche that most cliches are true, but then like most cliches, that cliche is untrue.”
Stephen Fry

Terry Pratchett
“The reason that clichés become clichés is that they are the hammers and screwdrivers in the toolbox of communication.”
Terry Pratchett, Guards! Guards!

Christopher Hitchens
“Very often the test of one's allegiance to a cause or to a people is precisely the willingness to stay the course when things are boring, to run the risk of repeating an old argument just one more time, or of going one more round with a hostile or (much worse) indifferent audience. I first became involved with the Czech opposition in 1968 when it was an intoxicating and celebrated cause. Then, during the depressing 1970s and 1980s I was a member of a routine committee that tried with limited success to help the reduced forces of Czech dissent to stay nourished (and published). The most pregnant moment of that commitment was one that I managed to miss at the time: I passed an afternoon with Zdenek Mlynar, exiled former secretary of the Czech Communist Party, who in the bleak early 1950s in Moscow had formed a friendship with a young Russian militant with an evident sense of irony named Mikhail Sergeyevitch Gorbachev. In 1988 I was arrested in Prague for attending a meeting of one of Vaclav Havel's 'Charter 77' committees. That outwardly exciting experience was interesting precisely because of its almost Zen-like tedium. I had gone to Prague determined to be the first visiting writer not to make use of the name Franz Kafka, but the numbing bureaucracy got the better of me. When I asked why I was being detained, I was told that I had no need to know the reason! Totalitarianism is itself a cliché (as well as a tundra of pulverizing boredom) and it forced the cliché upon me in turn. I did have to mention Kafka in my eventual story. The regime fell not very much later, as I had slightly foreseen in that same piece that it would. (I had happened to notice that the young Czechs arrested with us were not at all frightened by the police, as their older mentors had been and still were, and also that the police themselves were almost fatigued by their job. This was totalitarianism practically yawning itself to death.) A couple of years after that I was overcome to be invited to an official reception in Prague, to thank those who had been consistent friends through the stultifying years of what 'The Party' had so perfectly termed 'normalization.' As with my tiny moment with Nelson Mandela, a whole historic stretch of nothingness and depression, combined with the long and deep insult of having to be pushed around by boring and mediocre people, could be at least partially canceled and annealed by one flash of humor and charm and generosity.”
Christopher Hitchens, Hitch-22: A Memoir

Alan Bennett
“Clichés can be quite fun. That's how they got to be clichés.”
Alan Bennett, The History Boys

Michael Chabon
“We are accustomed to repeating the cliché, and to believing, that 'our most precious resource is our children.' But we have plenty of children to go around, God knows, and as with Doritos, we can always make more. The true scarcity we face is practicing adults, of people who know how marginal, how fragile, how finite their lives and their stories and their ambitions really are but who find value in this knowledge, even a sense of strange comfort, because they know their condition is universal, is shared.”
Michael Chabon, Manhood for Amateurs

Harlan Coben
“I wish i could tell you that through the tragedy i mined some undiscovered, life-altering absolute that i could pass on to you.I didn't.The cliches apply-people are what count,life is precious,materialism is over rated, and the little things matter,live in the moment-and i can repeat them to you ad nauseam.you might listen, but you won't internalize.Tragedy hammers it hm.Tragedy etches into your soul.You might not be happier.But you will be better.”
Harlan Coben, Tell No One

Fredrik Backman
“It’s hard to help those who don’t want to help themselves.”

“Someone who wants to help himself is possibly not the one who most needs help from others,” Elsa objects.”
Fredrik Backman, My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She's Sorry

“A cliche is a cliche because it works”
Feige Gornish

Lisa Kleypas
“One of the more ignominious features of love was that you could only express it with cliches...it made you sound like a fraud at a time when you were blazing with sincerity.”
Lisa Kleypas, Crystal Cove

Aleksandar Hemon
“One of the most common platitudes we heard was that “words failed.” But words were not failing us at all. It was not true that there was no way to describe our experience. We had plenty of language to talk to each other about the horror of what was happening, and talk we did. If there was a communication problem it was that there were too many words; they were far too heavy and too specific to be inflicted upon others. If something was failing it was the functionality of routine, platitudinous language—the comforting clichés were now inapplicable and perfectly useless. We instinctively protected other people from the knowledge we possessed; we let them think that words failed, because we knew they didn’t want to be familiar with the vocabulary we used daily. We were sure they didn’t want to know what we did; we didn’t want to know it either.”
Aleksandar Hemon, The Book of My Lives

William Faulkner
“...he remembered his uncle saying once how little vocabulary man really needed to get comfortably and even efficiently through his life, how not only in the individual but within his whole type and race and kind a few simple cliches served his few simple passions and needs and lusts.”
William Faulkner

Tariq Ali
“Monotonous talk of the end of American hegemony, the universal cliché of the period, is mostly a way of avoiding mounting a serious opposition to it.”
Tariq Ali, The Obama Syndrome: Surrender at Home, War Abroad

James Taranto
Do You Come Here Often?' and 'Be Part of the Action' Have Become Clichéd
"Coast Guard Sees Increasing Need for Icebreakers"—headline, Associated Press, March 1”
James Taranto

Charlie Jane Anders
“Maybe she would have done more good as a playwright than as a doctor, after all — clichés were like plaque in the arteries of the imagination, they clogged the sense of what was possible. Maybe if enough people had worked to demolish clichés, the world wouldn't have ended.”
Charlie Jane Anders

Brian Spellman
“Absence makes the mind go yonder.”
Brian Spellman, Cartoonist's Book Camp

Angela N. Blount
“I know, I know…there’s something cliché about that. The heroine initially wanting to clobber a protagonist male, but later realizing that he’s grown on her and she actually really likes him. Technically, I’m not supposed to find that appealing. But maybe real life is a lot more cliché than anyone wants to admit. Or maybe there’s just a fine, subjective line between the cliché and the poetic.”
Angela N. Blount, Once Upon a Road Trip

“Let's have some new cliches.”
Samuel Goldwyn

Duane Hewitt
“Eventually all things become cliché.”
Duane Hewitt

Judith Clarke
“And sometimes, even though Dad said Dr. Snow was the best psychologist in the city and a very famous man, Jess thought there were things he didn't know either. "Time heals all wounds," he'd said to them once, his voice so soft and thoughtful he could have been talking to himself. It had seemed a cruel thing to say, though Jess knew he hadn't meant to be unkind. Vida had been really angry with him.
"No, it doesn't!" she shouted. "You're wrong! It doesn't!”
Judith Clarke, Starry Nights

Christine Amsden
“You're a kid. I didn't know we taught kids manners anymore.”
Christine Amsden, The Immortality Virus

Judith Clarke
“She looked so disappointed, so grieved and desperate that Clem longed to comfort her, only he couldn't think of thing to say that she hadn't heard a hundred times from Dad and Dr. Snow and Mrs. Mack: how things would get better in time, though no one knew how much time, and that life might be a little better for her and Jess once school began again.”
Judith Clarke, Starry Nights

Joseph G. Peterson
“To have luck and fail to act on it is tantamount to not having luck at all. In fact, it was worse. Barnes thought back to his self-help manuals. They all proclaimed with compelling force the necessity of recognizing opportunity then seizing it when it stuck.”
Joseph G. Peterson, Wanted: Elevator Man

“So we all know the cliché characters: the Irish cop, the prostitute with a heart of gold, the writer with a drinking problem, and so forth. Clichés often exist for a reason, of course, and sometimes it’s okay to use a tried and true character. But not always. Populate your stories with only stock characters and there won’t be any reason to read your tales over anyone else’s.”
Craig Hart, The Writer's Tune-up Manual: 35 Exercises That Will Scrape the Rust Off Your Writing

Thomm Quackenbush
“Cliches work by appealing to the collective unconscious. They are the Pachbel's Canon in D of writing, something familiar the talented can riff off to create a distinct work.”
Thomm Quackenbush, Pagan Standard Times: Essays on the Craft

“Readers have pet-peeved the cliché to death.”

Hannah Arendt
“Cliches, stock phrases, adherence to conventional, standardized codes of expression and conduct have the socially recognized function of protecting us against reality, that is, against the claim on our thinking attention that all events and facts make by virtue of their existence.”
Hannah Arendt, The Life of the Mind: The Groundbreaking Investigation on How We Think

“A good writer is a great writer when they can make the cliché work again.”

Jincy Willett
“Only in art were there cliches; never in nature. There were no ordinary human beings. Everybody was born with surprise inside.”
Jincy Willett, The Writing Class

Fuminori Nakamura
“Given the situation I had gotten myself into, I just chose the path that seemed most likely to succeed and did the best I could. But Shota died so suddenly. His death ripped open a deep fissure in my life. It was a cruel and heedless truth that I will never be able to comprehend. No matter what I do, I cannot change it. Is there any meaning in this world where Shota could die such an inexplicable death? That fissure spread through me unexpectedly. A responsible person would probably tell me to smile even though he’s gone. They’d probably say Shota, even though he was only a child, would have wanted me to lead a good life. But I don’t need to hear those words. This world is overflowing with hackneyed expressions like that. They can comfort most people, but they make me suffer. Words that most people nod along to make those who can’t nod along suffer. They alienate them. What about words that can reach someone like me? Do those exist? I am twisted. I can’t look at the world straight. But why am still trying to live on? Even though I think it would be better to curse the world, smile perversely and die.”
Fuminori Nakamura, The Kingdom

“...sayings only become clichés because they're true.”
MC Domovitch

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