Saturday, May 10, 2008

Give it your best shot: Rewrite these cliches

There's a reason cliches (where's that accent character for the "e"?) became cliches. I posted about this at my other blog today for my newly-declared Corny Cliche Saturday.

I admit to being a little fond of them. Usually they are succintly-worded universal truths that we do well to heed. Think about the first time you heard, "Stop and smell the roses." Well? Isn't that good advice? I have a doo-hickey in my kitchen that says "Take time to smell the coffee." (I bought it as a gift for my husband who is a coffee aficionado.)

But as much as I like them, there is a good reason for us as writers to avoid overused phrases. The message that is really quite important becomes dulled with repetitive use and what was once a revelation soon becomes "yeah yeah I know."

How would you rewrite these sayings to bring life back into their meaning?

"They grow up so fast."
"On your deathbed, you won't wish you had spent more time at work."
"All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy."

And if you have some corny cliches you love anyway, feel free to post them in the comments. I'm going to need some more next Saturday. :)


plaidearthworm said...

I couldn't help poor Jack out without thinking of iPods and dancing hamsters, so I'm re-working another one:

A tool in the hand is worth two on eBay. ;)

Serenity Now! said...

Before she knew it, the little boy who kissed my nose, was wiping my kisses off faster then I could give 'em.

When it's time to pay the cheque, you'll wish you ate more dessert.

All grammar and know poetry makes a writer a comma-nazi.

Anonymous said...

(where's that accent character for the "e"?) In Word, click on the insert menu, choose symbol, choose a normal text font and scroll through, you'll find some lower case e's - highlight the correct one and either press enter, or double click or press insert and that accented e will be in your document. (Dawn Ross, Calgary)

Carolyn Erickson said...

@Plaid - Love the "tool in the hand" rewrite... but am I supposed to be reading into the way I am? LOL!

@Heather - Oh, those are good. Especially the one about kisses. I hope that doesn't happen with daughters.

@Dawn - Thanks so much... But I wonder if it will convert properly when I post it to my blog. I'll give it a try. (I guess you'll see the results next Saturday.)