During the recent BBC series The Apprentice, one of the contestants, namely Jim Eastwood aka “Jedi Jim” became notorious for amongst other things, his inability to say a single sentence without it containing a cliché. When challenged by Lord Sugar’s erstwhile advisor, Margaret Mountford to describe himself without using a cliché, Jim replied “I am exactly what it says on the tin…”, causing poor Margaret’s eyebrows to raise further than ever before.
Clichés are everywhere these days and most times we hear or see them, we tend not to even realise what they are – so meaningless have they become. And just like Jedi Jim we utter them , often without thinking or awareness. We too have our stock phrases and responses, and we go through life using them virtually every time we have a conversation – but like Jim, we don’t even realise it.
Sometimes though we do realise – we hear them – they annoy us – irritate us – make us want to scream at the person we are speaking to. But of course we don’t. So, instead we smile, (admittedly through gritted teeth), we nod our head, we agree.
If like me, you have been in the unfortunate position of having just been made redundant, I would pretty much guarantee that you have heard clichés galore from the people you meet since it happened. Family, friends, neighbours, whoever – they open their mouths and out they spew.
I suppose we’ve got to remember that it is awkward for them – they don’t quite know what to say and so out comes the predictable “makeitallbetter” phrase. We know they mean well . We know they’re simply trying to be nice. Just think though… how refreshing it would be to hear something entirely unexpected ….
So I decided to entertain myself by compiling a list – a list of the Top 5 Clichés that I’ve recently heard upon telling someone I’d just lost my job. All true – all well meaning but still annoying !
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