Writing Topics: cliches

The value of clichés

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I went to see an extraordinary new play recently – London Road at the National Theatre. It is a verbatim record of interviews with neighbours in London Road, Ipswich, in the aftermath of the murders of prostitutes by serial killer Steve Wright – performed by actors and set to music. The words themselves are unremarkable […]

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Mandelson’s mangled metaphors

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One of the few sources of levity in Labour’s General Election campaign has been the mangled metaphors of Peter Mandelson. On Monday (26th April) he told party members that Gordon Brown was “a workhorse at the helm” – an alarming equine captain for the ship of state. Earlier, Mandelson praised Brown’s “granite-like resilience”, although granite […]

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Exclusive to all readers: the ultimate list of iconic marketing hyperboles!

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[This entry originally appeared on Clare Lynch’s blog, goodcopybadcopy] I know you want to give your business the best possible chance, but please don’t resort to describing it in the clichéd, exaggerated terms that every one else out there seems to want to use. Spend five seconds contemplating the literal meanings of some of the […]

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The Big Cliché

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[This entry originally appeared on Clare Lynch’s blog, goodcopybadcopy] Organising a campaign? Want to get everyone involved? Keen to sound inclusive, exciting and a little bit down with the kids? Not sure what to call it? Why, just add to the list . . .

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Strapline clichés to avoid #3: “working together”

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[This entry originally appeared on Clare Lynch’s blog, goodcopybadcopy] Read the strapline attached to any branch of local government or publicly funded service in the UK and you’ll soon realise just how much touchy-feely teamwork is involved in bleeding you of your hard-earned taxes.

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Strapline clichés to avoid #2: any strapline that includes the word “passion” (but especially if it’s combined with “excellence”)

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[This entry originally appeared on Clare Lynch’s blog, goodcopybadcopy] Sooo, the last person on a final salary pension left the firm years ago. Repeated rounds of redundancies have left people wondering if they’re next out the door. And you’ve just asked your workers to take a pay cut because “we all need to pull together […]

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Strapline clichés to avoid: the alliterative triplet

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[This entry originally appeared on Clare Lynch’s blog, goodcopybadcopy] Need to come up with a strapline that really sums up your company? Think carefully before going the way of the alliterative triplet. Alliterative triplets are straplines where three words are chosen not because they capture the very essence of the brand they describe, but because, […]

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Tautology Tuesday: “bespoke and customised products”

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[This entry originally appeared on Clare Lynch’s blog, goodcopybadcopy] It’s not enough that you’ve bored me rigid with that overused tailoring metaphor, “bespoke”. By pairing it with “customised”, a word meaning exactly the same, you’re telling me you think I’m too dim to understand what you’re getting at.

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