Answer/Quote:”George Orwell described clichés as those images, concepts or phrases that have ‘lost force.’ Most clichés probably started off as fresh and exciting but have lost their energy over repeated use. For example: He was tall, dark and handsome. Her heart skipped a beat. She worked like a dog.”
“We’ve all heard these phrases before and understand what they mean. But they don’t evoke an interesting image or a compelling emotion. In fact, images probably don’t arise at all.”
“We use clichés as an easy way to express a sentiment.” Writing is about precision. ‘So, if you’ve heard it before, it’s a cliché….”
Title: “How Do I Know If Something Is a Cliché?” Brandi Reissenweber. The Writer (October 2011), 7.
Comment: The Writer is a publication by writers for writers. I would recommend that you purchase a copy of The Writer for October 2011 and use Brandi’s full article with your classes. I’m sure this question has come up in your writing classes. RayS.