Read Clichés: Avoid Them Like the Plague! by Nigel Fountain Online


At the end of the day, when it comes to getting your head around clichés, everybody seems to be singing from the same hymn sheet. Clichés have become such a familiar part of the English language and people's everyday speech that many are now trite, meaningless and often quite irritating. This book looks at clichés in their many forms - once useful but overworked catch phraAt the end of the day, when it comes to getting your head around clichés, everybody seems to be singing from the same hymn sheet. Clichés have become such a familiar part of the English language and people's everyday speech that many are now trite, meaningless and often quite irritating. This book looks at clichés in their many forms - once useful but overworked catch phrases ('move the goal posts'), worn-out sayings ('all hands on deck'), pointless phrases used to conceal a weak argument ('to be perfectly honest'), technical terms used out of context ('collateral damage'), and many others. It shows where they came from and, with examples from people who ought to know better, why they should be avoided. Entertaining and informative, this collection of clichés really is the best thing since sliced bread . ....

Title : Clichés: Avoid Them Like the Plague!
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9781843174868
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 192 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Clichés: Avoid Them Like the Plague! Reviews

  • Charlotte
    2019-03-03 05:54

    I was predisposed to be a fan of this book: my copy was a free gift. There’s something extra liberating about opening it up – and a hardback no less – with that blissful new-book scent and the smug I-almost-feel-dirty knowledge that it hasn’t cost so much as a penny to obtain. It isn’t rocket science - freebies are always fondly received, especially when they prove themselves to contain quite the repertoire of hidden jewels. The coverage of ‘Fat Cat’, ‘One Trick Pony’ and ‘Orwellian Nightmare’ left me snickering – three glorious briolette diamonds indeed - and this is a prime example of why we shouldn’t go judging books upon their initial appearance.I’ve always been a fan of stealthy books like this, poised with their bright and appealing covers, pretending to be innocuous when in fact lurking like a trap-door spider for unsuspecting prey. Fountain is sharp, informative and takes no prisoners with this disembowelling/selection of clichés. His style of droll tangible cynicism shines in its bordering upon the realms of Ambrose Bierce-esque and, whilst it is no longer ‘cool’ to be a Jeremy fan, the tone of Fountain’s opinionated wit made me nostalgic for The World According to Clarkson.It would be criminal to complete my review without mention of the wonderful illustrations - Pinder’s charming sketches add an extra dimension of life to the work, lending a pinch of balancing harmony to sometimes-vivisecting text. They’re comedy in their own right; just look at the massive ‘yes-you-stepped-in-that-poop-you-buffoon’ grin upon the dog’s face under ‘Stuff [Or Sh*t] Happens’. Absolutely Classic.All in, this is nice dip-in-and-out material, perfect for any procrastinators. Who knew ‘Because I’m Worth It’ had more than forty years under its belt (a slogan almost twice my age - that's a shade daunting!), or that ‘Plan B’ actually pre-dates ‘Plan A’? This is a great supply of ammo for pub quizzes, a reservoir of 'useless knowledge' that we all seem to love to collect like dust in our heads and shall no doubt rest unpeacefully in the bookcase as it falls victim of repeat visits.

  • Roger Kean
    2019-03-02 07:57

    There's certainly no "blue-sky thinking" in this gem—a must for all writers and, at the end of the day, a fun read for everyone else. Here's a book that shouldn't be judged by its cover—Nigel Fountain has some very sharp words for the lazy thinking that bubbles a ready cliché to lip and pen (watch out texters and Facebookers who use ROFL, let alone the surely inoffensive LOL). Fountain points out that so many clichés have become so, not so much from obvious overuse, but from the way the original, and often colorful phrase has become detached from what it was originally intended to convey.It's also fascinating to discover just how many metaphorical phrases which have become clichés are very recent. And one should note, sadly, that Goodreads cannot spell Cliché—I'm sure every aspiring and successful writer knows full well how to avoid CLICHS.

  • Jesse Miller
    2019-02-18 08:57

    A supreme disappointment. It was neither interesting, nor insightful, nor even funny. Nor exhaustive, as even the author mentioned several cliches IN THE BOOK that were not entries in the book. It should have been titled, "A Few Mildly Related Phrases and Words That I Think People Ought Not Use." For real wit, interest, and benefit go to the classic and caustic The Unabridged Devil's Dictionary by Ambrose Beirce, or the truly exhaustive and superb Dictionary of Euphemisms and Other Doubletalk" by Hugh Rawson.

  • Glen Blesi
    2019-03-04 08:11

    It is ironic that so many people are terrified of speaking in public when so many people seem to have the “ability” to fill up time by constantly blurting out meaningless phrases in their everyday speech. I’m sure I have distractions in my own talks, such as “uhs” or unnecessary chuckles, but I do my best to not use clichés, redundancies and the like.Those of us who are aware of speech and written language habits will perceive different phrases as clichés. I became aware of this while reading Nigel Fountain’s book. Many of those he cited I simply had never heard or seen in print. But others I now recognize as clichés but hadn’t really thought of in those terms before. These include “get a life”, which I personally used on my ex-wife after tiring of her accusations against me, “movers and shakers”, “paradigm shift”, “kick ass”, which I have never and would never use, and “baby boomers.” While I hadn’t thought of the latter as a cliché, I detest those later designations for age groups, such as generation X and Millennials. I will now make an effort to not use any of them. In that sense, the book has changed my thinking.Fountain refers to the “jargon-loving world of business management.” Again, I hadn’t thought of it but many of the clichés used today originate with business management. They think that using these terms make them sound clever when in reality they confuse things. These days it is nearly impossible to know what an employer is looking for when a job advertisement asks for someone who is a “self-starter” or capable of “multi-tasking.” These are phrases that have become meaningless. Other worthless phrases that companies love to use are “thinking outside the box”, “proactive” and “brainstorming.” Similarly, the author refers to the Pentagon as a “factory of tortured English.”Fountain is British, and yet has a remarkably good knowledge of American politics, history and language use. His entries cover both cultures as indeed, phrases are known to quickly cross the Atlantic in both directions.The author includes those acronyms that have become standard for the text messaging crowd. So many of them can have more than one meaning. If one’s meaning isn’t clear, why use the phrase? I see “OMG” as referring to God, and hence, the equivalent of using God’s name in vain. I would not want anyone to think I was doing this. Why would I use it at all?I have grown up being aware of clichés used by previous generations. So many of them made no sense to me. “I’ll be kiss my foot” is one ridiculous example. This is what made me determined at an early age to never use clichés. One that reached cliché status in the 1960s, “knee jerk reaction”, I had never thought of the meaning for. It actually refers to the involuntary movement of the knee when the patellar tendon is tapped. Clichés are so annoying to me that I don’t always consider what their original meaning may have been.As a listener to conservative talk radio, I struggle with the forum. Even though I generally agree with the sentiments expressed, I often have to take breaks from listening. I can’t understand how otherwise intelligent people can be so dependent on meaningless phrases in their speech, phrases such as “at the end of the day”, “absolutely”, “the bottom line.” If they are incapable of using crisp, fresh, non-repetitive language, I ask myself, how did they make it in talk radio in the first place? I won’t mention the name but one radio hostess who interviews Christian authors and organization heads uses speech that is so predictable and corny-sounding that I’ve pretty much given up listening altogether. Doesn’t she realize how insincere she sounds, I ask myself. Each of us who pay attention to language could write a book like this. Perhaps we should. We each hear and read our own set of speech habits. We each could point out clichés that others may not yet be aware of. English has such a vast vocabulary to choose from that it is a shame that our sentences have so often been reduced to repetitive phrases. I am anxious to read Nigel Fountain’s follow-up to this book.

  • Am Y
    2019-02-26 08:08

    I have mixed feelings about this book. I liked that it gives the background to a lot of commonly used phrases and idioms, including fairly new or modern ones that have just sprung up in very recent times. The reasons as to why they should be avoided though, are very often subjective and open to debate. The book also features some "cliches" which I've never heard before in my life, prompting much question as to how and why they would even be considered cliches if they are that uncommon - some of them are even industry-specific. If so, the likelihood of the man-on-the-street having heard of them would be close to zero. I picked it up to see just how many of these so-called "cliches" I was guilty of using, why I shoudn't be using them, and also to see how many I'd heard of.

  • Yves
    2019-03-18 09:02

    Picked up at a thrift shop and an instant hit. You smile throughout the read, this book has all the bells and whistles you expect from a light read (see what I did there?)

  • Sandra
    2019-02-24 13:08

    This is a cute little book. I received it as a free gift with my book order at Folio Society, and spent quite a few minutes reading random pages in it. I didn't read the whole thing, since it is much like a dictionairy, but I think I will definitely read in it from time to time. (Also, it looks so good on the bookshelf.)What I read I found quite interesting, there were a lot of things I had never thought of as clichés, and I learned several interesting facts about more "famous" clichés. Recommend this to all language enthusiasts, and anyone looking for some funny and interesting reading.

  • James
    2019-03-15 11:13

    It was a free gift. It’s just a collection of some cliches and a quick history on how, where, when, why they were started and the original meanings. I didn’t bother reading the entire book – just like I have never sat down and read an entire dictionary, but from time to time I’ll pick it up, open a random page, and read a bit. Some are funny, some are enlightening, some are just wasting time. I can't really recommend buying it unless you really like cliches

  • Gary
    2019-02-18 06:52

    A must-read!!! No, not really, but it was okay. Liked it.