They are those little sayings that have been used much too often to be interesting or thoughtful.
The other week, my beau got a phone call. The caller mentioned something in the conversation along the lines of “a closed mouth doesn’t eat.”
Until then, that was cliché I didn’t know, so I looked it up, and it seems it originated in West Coast prisons. It means that you have to ask for something and keep on asking until you get what you want. Wear ‘em down until you get your demands, as it were.
This got me thinking. Clichés, sayings, platitudes, chestnuts, saws, whatever you call them – seem to be omnipresent. My ears perked up even more when I heard:
“You got this!”
“Everything happens for a reason.”
“Life is good.”
“God has a plan for you.”
“It is what it is.”
“It wasn’t meant to be.”
“It’s in God’s hands.”
“Only the good die young.”
“Nice guys finish last.”
I started to keep track of each platitude I heard or read, just to calculate a total. I gave up after one day. There were just too many to record.
There are people who speak mostly in platitudes, and I mean in real life. Could this be a symptom of social media, i.e., people are so conditioned to like, read, and share those memes with the insipid clichés, that any thought process to communicate meaningful conversations is beyond their abilities?
I worked with people who did speak in clichés ad infinitum, and by the way they used them, they didn’t know their meanings. Those little chestnuts just sounded intelligent and fresh. At least to them they did. They sounded silly to me.
What I know for sure is that when I left Fakebook over a year ago, my verbal and writing skills vastly improved. Before then, I wasn’t thinking in incomplete sentences, and sometimes I was writing in quasi-text.
I returned to the living, self-thinking human race, and what a relief.
So, let’s not reinvent the wheel. It’s not rocket science. It is what it is.
At least for those who won’t think for themselves.
©Susan Marie Molloy and all works within.