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Clichés: Avoid Them Like the Plague!
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Clichés: Avoid Them Like the Plague!

3.11  ·  Rating details ·  47 ratings  ·  11 reviews
At the end of the day, when it comes to getting your head around clichés, everybody seems to be singing from the same hymn sheet. Clichés have become such a familiar part of the English language and people's everyday speech that many are now trite, meaningless and often quite irritating. This book looks at clichés in their many forms - once useful but overworked catch phra ...more
Hardcover, 192 pages
Published September 6th 2012 by Michael O'Mara (first published October 1st 2011)
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I was predisposed to be a fan of this book: my copy was a free gift. There’s something extra liberating about opening it up – and a hardback no less – with that blissful new-book scent and the smug I-almost-feel-dirty knowledge that it hasn’t cost so much as a penny to obtain. It isn’t rocket science - freebies are always fondly received, especially when they prove themselves to contain quite the repertoire of hidden jewels. The coverage of ‘Fat Cat’, ‘One Trick Pony’ and ‘Orwellian Nightmare’ l ...more
Roger Kean
Aug 31, 2012 rated it really liked it
There's certainly no "blue-sky thinking" in this gem—a must for all writers and, at the end of the day, a fun read for everyone else. Here's a book that shouldn't be judged by its cover—Nigel Fountain has some very sharp words for the lazy thinking that bubbles a ready cliché to lip and pen (watch out texters and Facebookers who use ROFL, let alone the surely inoffensive LOL). Fountain points out that so many clichés have become so, not so much from obvious overuse, but from the way the original ...more
May 09, 2017 rated it did not like it
Shelves: non-fiction
A supreme disappointment. It was neither interesting, nor insightful, nor even funny. Nor exhaustive, as even the author mentioned several cliches IN THE BOOK that were not entries in the book. It should have been titled, "A Few Mildly Related Phrases and Words That I Think People Ought Not Use." For real wit, interest, and benefit go to the classic and caustic The Unabridged Devil's Dictionary by Ambrose Beirce, or the truly exhaustive and superb Dictionary of Euphemisms and Other Doubletalk" b ...more
Glen Blesi
Oct 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing
It is ironic that so many people are terrified of speaking in public when so many people seem to have the “ability” to fill up time by constantly blurting out meaningless phrases in their everyday speech. I’m sure I have distractions in my own talks, such as “uhs” or unnecessary chuckles, but I do my best to not use clichés, redundancies and the like.

Those of us who are aware of speech and written language habits will perceive different phrases as clichés. I became aware of this while reading Ni
Feb 25, 2020 rated it liked it
Introduced me to some cliches I've never heard of before, which seems unusual. It was interesting to read about the origins of these terms, but the author seemed unduly harsh about some of them. Cliches have their purposes. ...more
Am Y
Feb 13, 2017 rated it it was ok
I have mixed feelings about this book. I liked that it gives the background to a lot of commonly used phrases and idioms, including fairly new or modern ones that have just sprung up in very recent times. The reasons as to why they should be avoided though, are very often subjective and open to debate. The book also features some "cliches" which I've never heard before in my life, prompting much question as to how and why they would even be considered cliches if they are that uncommon - some of ...more
Feb 11, 2017 rated it really liked it
Picked up at a thrift shop and an instant hit. You smile throughout the read, this book has all the bells and whistles you expect from a light read (see what I did there?)
Sep 04, 2013 rated it really liked it
This is a cute little book. I received it as a free gift with my book order at Folio Society, and spent quite a few minutes reading random pages in it. I didn't read the whole thing, since it is much like a dictionairy, but I think I will definitely read in it from time to time. (Also, it looks so good on the bookshelf.)

What I read I found quite interesting, there were a lot of things I had never thought of as clichés, and I learned several interesting facts about more "famous" clichés. Recommen
It was a free gift. It’s just a collection of some cliches and a quick history on how, where, when, why they were started and the original meanings. I didn’t bother reading the entire book – just like I have never sat down and read an entire dictionary, but from time to time I’ll pick it up, open a random page, and read a bit. Some are funny, some are enlightening, some are just wasting time. I can't really recommend buying it unless you really like cliches ...more
Oct 01, 2015 rated it liked it
A must-read!!! No, not really, but it was okay. Liked it.
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