When I write I always strive to avoid using clichés.
For instance I probably wouldn’t write ‘I avoid clichés like the plague’ (oops I just did).
But I might write ‘I avoid clichés like daddy trying to get out of cutting the grass by saying his chilblains are playing up’.
One of my favourite pieces of writing is Orwell’s monumental essay ‘Politics and the English Language’.
In it he argues that you should avoid using any phrase you are used to seeing in print.
And while this is impossible to follow prescriptively, it’s a wonderful aspiration.
Use of tired terminology demonstrates lazy thinking on the part of the author and encourages it in the reader.
But there’s a problem with clichés.
They can turn out to be true and sometimes wise.
For example the commonly remarked fact the aging process in your children appears to the parent to be in a state of perpetual acceleration.
So consider the following paragraph to be a pleasing lapse.
They grow up so quick! Where do the years go? It seems just yesterday he was a tiny wee baby! He’s shooting up!
Phew! Glad to have got that off my chest (hey, that’s another cliché, you’ve ruined yourself).
All of this is my rather long-winded (another!) way of introducing this great video my wonderful wife has put together of our great wee man, proving yet again she’s a thousand times more talented than me.
Hope you enjoy it xxxx