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Grammar Repair Shop: Sound too familiar? Reword it

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in Workplace Communication

Using clichés will give readers the impression that they’ve heard it all before. Keep your reader engaged by making your writing as sharp and creative as your spoken conversations.

Two simple strategies:

1. Avoid clichés altogether.

2. Try to twist a cliché in a new way. Example: “She stuck out like a seal at a polar bear convention.” Or “He burns the candle at neither end.”

Tip: Don’t be too hard on yourself for using a cliché during a first draft. Often those familiar turns of a phrase are the first things that spring to mind.

When you’ve finished your draft, though, go through it with a mental red pen, striking phrases you’ve heard too often. Examples: behind the eight ball, at this point in time, smart as a whip, dime a dozen. Instead, opt for your own words.

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