Well I say “Better Safe than Sorry.”
Clichés keep us from having to think too hard about what we are writing and release us from the shackles of original thought. We are free to exploit the minds of others, copy and paste their condensed thoughts and make our point with a greater degree of clarity, all without having to use one brain cell in the process. Clichés are better than sliced bread.
But my favorite part of over used clichés, analogies and metaphors is that sometimes people who should not use them at all take a swing and miss the point completely. It is a wonderful gift that they give us. But we have to listen closely. One of my favorites is the one where someone is mad at you and says “I could care less” then they hang up the phone or feel that they have ended the conversation by putting you in your place. I like this one because it is more misused than it is used correctly. The actual expression is “I couldn’t care less” which means that your issues are so small to them that it would be impossible for them to think any less about you. When they say it the wrong way they are saying the opposite and that is just a little victory you give yourself by knowing that they are not as clever as they may think. You pointing this out will not make them less mad, so I sort of let it go. But that is me…
Another interesting Cliché that I believe is also misused more often than not is when someone says “If God wills it” or “It’s in God’s hands now”
This comes in to a conversation in real estate when someone is placing a ridiculously low offer on a home and it is said far too often. I always want to reply to them with “God helps those that help themselves” but if they are going to bring God into the negotiations I figure that I am not going to out-wit the big “G”. This is after all the trump card that people use when what they really want to say is “I have no clue and therefore I am no longer taking responsibilities for my actions”
So I have gone on about clichés and analogies until the cows came home, the horses are out of the barn and the snow has officially melted in hell.
If you know of any other examples let me know!