Strategies for Identifying and Eliminating Clichés
Readers won’t struggle through a vague and cliché- or jargon-filled document, searching for explanations the writer left out. Instead, they will grab the nearest plausible (potentially wrong) interpretation or disengage entirely. To avoid this fate, you must examine your word choices and edit ruthlessly.
Here are strategies to help you in the editing process:
- Be Conscious of Clichés: Being conscious of clichés is the first step. Be wary of phrases that come too easily to mind; they might be clichés. Familiarize yourself with common business clichés so you can spot them as you write. Try reading your work aloud; this step can make clichés more apparent. If a sentence or phrase sounds trite, redundant, or overused when spoken, cut it or rewrite it.
- Question Relevance: Challenge the relevance of clichés in your writing. Ask yourself if they contribute meaningfully to the message. Resist the urge to use fancy phrases that add no clarity or insight. Clichés are often redundant. Every time you spot one, ask yourself if it’s essential to the message. If it’s not, you’re better off without it.
- Substitute with Substance: When you identify a cliché, ask yourself: What am I trying to convey here? Aim for specificity. Instead of saying “at the end of the day,” perhaps you mean “ultimately” or “after considering all factors.” Boost your writing by using specific details or examples rather than general statements. Replace clichés with honest, original expressions true to your personal experience and understanding.
- Seek a Fresh Perspective: Get a fresh pair of eyes to review your work because others can often spot clichés you might have missed. Use tools like WordRake for in-depth editing suggestions tailored to sophisticated writers. WordRake identifies clichés and redundant language in your writing, then suggests better ways to express your ideas.
How You Can Easily Edit out Clichés
Despite taking the steps above, you may miss ways to improve your writing. Luckily, WordRake can clean up even advanced writing and help you produce more convincing language. Here are just a few of examples of clichés and weak idiomatic expressions that WordRake cuts or edits:
I’m keeping a lot of balls in the air managing a lot of projects, so we may need to move that deadline.
I didn’t raise the issue because I didn’t want to make waves cause conflict.
Let’s drill down on explore that topic in the next meeting.
In this day and age, Now, computer literacy is a necessity.
Adaptability is part and parcel of inherent in a successful entrepreneur's toolkit, letting them navigate the ever-changing business landscape.
Salt was hard to come by was scarce for our ancestors.
Negotiations are at a standstill have stalled.
Chances are, the The people in the green shirts were probably the culprits.
There have been financial challenges, but rest assured that the company will come through this unscathed.
I want to take a minute to tell everyone about our new product.
The country, with its prowess as a manufacturer, has long cast a jaundiced eye on has long questioned the world of high finance.
The primary source of contamination, as a whole, was the migration of contaminants from the Northern Unit.
With the passing of time Over time, users’ aesthetic values and preferences change, and product appeal decreases.
It’s no secret that The hospital has its problems.
It is not surprising then that the The professor’s faulty methodology leads to faulty opinions.
Business communication demands finesse, clarity, and purpose. Editing out redundant clichés is important to improve the effectiveness of your messages. Clichés dilute authenticity, erode trust, and hinder clarity in your writing. By cutting clichés and redundancies, you achieve authenticity, authority, and precision in business communication and strengthen your professional reputation. Convey your message sincerely, establish trust, and strengthen your argument. Replace clichés with original and meaningful content, and use editing tools like WordRake to ensure consistently impactful communication.
About the Authors
Ivy B. Grey is the Chief Strategy & Growth Officer for WordRake. Prior to joining the team, she practiced bankruptcy law for ten years. In 2020, Ivy was recognized as an Influential Woman in Legal Tech by ILTA. She has also been recognized as a Fastcase 50 Honoree and included in the Women of Legal Tech list by the ABA Legal Technology Resource Center. Follow Ivy on Twitter @IvyBGrey or connect with her on LinkedIn.
Kate Callahan is a Marketing Specialist for WordRake. Before her passion for learning and writing led her to join the team in 2023, she worked in non-traditional education, content creation, and translation. She started her career by teaching ESL to elementary school students in Japan. You can follow her on Twitter @KateC_Writing or connect on LinkedIn.