The ProWritingAid Team
ProWritingAid: A grammar guru, style editor, and writing mentor in one package.
Published Apr 25, 2016

How to Use The Clichés and Redundancies Check


Whenever you use a cliché, you are knowingly writing something unoriginal. Clichés are what you write when you don’t have the energy or inspiration to think of something new to say.

Writers often use clichés when they are working on their first draft because thinking up original wording takes time and can interrupt creative flow. That’s fine. But, when you go back to edit, be creative and brainstorm for fresh ideas. A new analogy or metaphor will make much more of an impression on your readers than a dusty old cliché. A good writer may create and reject over a dozen images before finding the right one, so don’t worry if it takes you a while.

Orwell Quote on Clichés?


Every word in your writing should be there for a reason. Redundant expressions make writing longer, not better. Look at these four examples:

  • She peered through the hollow tube.
  • He stepped out on the frozen ice.
  • She followed her natural instinct.
  • His writing was peppered with overused clichés.

In all four cases, the penultimate word is superfluous. Redundancies can happen across a sentence, too:

  • The problems first began when Gary lost his job.

The word began means “the first occurrence”, so the word first is redundant.

  • Sam, Tom and Susie gathered together around the fire.

The word gathered means “to come together”, so the word together is redundant.

  • He reversed the car back down the driveway.

As opposed to reversing it forward ? Drop the word back because it’s redundant. Redundancies add quantity, not quality. Eliminate the clutter.

Use ProWritingAid’s Cliché and Redundancy Check to highlight those that have crept into your writing.

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The ProWritingAid Team
ProWritingAid: A grammar guru, style editor, and writing mentor in one package.

The most successful people in the world have coaches. Whatever your level of writing, ProWritingAid will help you achieve new heights. Exceptional writing depends on much more than just correct grammar. You need an editing tool that also highlights style issues and compares your writing to the best writers in your genre. ProWritingAid helps you find the best way to express your ideas.

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