No Excuses for Cliches July 11, 2006 by Lee Goldberg I received this comment to another post here two years ago and should have pulled it out for a stand-alone post then. Better late than never: Seems to me that a lot of folks do use cliches quite commonly. With that in mind, wouldn’t that show the writer was trying to portray realistic dialogue No, it would simply show that the writer is using cliches. Just because real people speak in cliches, that’s not an excuse to use them in your writing. Nobody is going to read a cliche and think "ah, the writer is capturing the way people really talk." They’ll think "geez, what a lousy writer. He doesn’t have the talent to write interesting dialogue." The commentor also said: I guess what I’m trying to state is that this appears to be a situation where you’re damned if you do and damned if you don’t. When it comes to cliches, nobody is going to criticise you for NOT using them.