Avoid Like the Plague

I recently came across this article that listed 15 clichés writers should avoid like the plague. The article said that, “The hardest part about cutting clichés is they are so widely known they just fall off the tip of your tongue (cliché). If you spot any of these phrases in your writing, pull out your red pen (another cliché).”

Here are the aforementioned 15 clichés listed in the article.

Writing on the wall
Whirlwind tour
Patience of Job
Never a dull moment
Sands of time
Paying the piper
March of history
Hook, line, and sinker
Long arm of the law
In the nick of time
Leave no stone unturned
Fall on deaf ears
Cool as a cucumber
Cry over spilled milk
Champing at the bit

I thought it might be fun to write a posts that is essentially nothing but these clichés. Here it is. Let me know what you think.


There was never a dull moment in Donald’s life, but nonetheless, as the sands of time slipped by, he could see the writing on the wall. He knew that his whirlwind tour would soon be coming to an end and that he would eventually wind up having to pay the piper. There were only so many people who would buy his lies hook, line, and sinker. Eventually, his bullshit would fall upon deaf ears. And there were those who were champing at the bit waiting for him to get his comeuppance.

But there was no point in crying over spilled milk. In the past he had always been able to avoid being apprehended by the long arm of the law just in the nick of time. Still, as always, Donald remained cool as a cucumber. He would leave no stone unturned, even if it took the patience of Job, to avoid going to jail. He was sure that, in the long march of history, people, with their short attention spans, would eventually forget about his indiscretions and forgive his trespasses.

Screwed the Pooch

“You didn’t seriously…?”

“Yep.”

“You just…?”

“Yep.”

“Does that mean…?”

“Quite probably.”

“But you’re the patriarch of the family.”

“Yeah, so?”

“It’s not very beseeming. You should set an example.”

“That’s what I did.”

“Well, it sometimes makes me wonder where your head is at.”

“How so?”

“Like where you come up with such radical ideas?”

“Like what?”

“Like going to D.C. on January 6th and participating in that ill-fated siege of the Capitol building.”

“That was fun.”

“Fun? Seriously? You thought that was a good idea?”

“For sure. My best ideas often come to me while drinking my morning coffee and eating a couple of poached eggs.”

“Sorry, Grandpa, but I think you screwed the pooch this time.”

“Why do you say that?”

“Because your picture was posted on the internet.”

“Really? How’d I look?”

“Good enough to be recognized.”

“Excellent.”

“I don’t think it’s so excellent.”

“Why not? Now I’m famous.”

“More like infamous.”

“That’s not such a bad thing.”

“Tell that to the two FBI agents who at waiting for you at the front door.”


This post was written for the JSW Challenge from Athling2001. The idea is to take the dialogue posted above and run with it. Also written for these daily prompts: Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (patriarch), Your Daily Word Prompt (beseem), Word of the Day Challenge (sometimes), The Daily Spur (coffee), MMA Storytime (eggs), and Ragtag Daily Prompt (radical).

TMP — Save My Sanity

Every Monday, Paula Light, with her The Monday Peeve prompt, gives us an opportunity to vent or rant about something that pisses us off. You might think my peeve today is a nit and I should not let it get to me, but it does. So I’m going to leverage Paula’s peeve platform to whine about it.The words “then” and “than” are not interchangeable. They are two distinct words and have two entirely different meanings.

“Then” usually refers to time or sequence. First you make a pot of coffee, then you start writing.

“Then” can also be used as a conditional statement, often as a consequence to show when one thing follows or results from another. If I don’t get my morning coffee, then my whole day is ruined.

“Than” is used when comparing or contrasting one thing with another. I like coffee better than tea.

If you don’t know the difference between these two words, then you should learn what it is.

Because I’d rather read posts from bloggers who use good grammar than from those who don’t.

It’s really not that difficult.