It’s the same old story isn’t it? In a nutshell, we’ve had all and sundry who, by and large, and with all due respect, can’t see beyond the end of their noses. They’re in their ivory towers telling us that clichés are nothing to write home about. I say hold your horses. I might rock the boat and ruffle some feathers, but in this day and age, the conventional wisdom smells fishy to me. Indeed, you might think I’ve got bigger fish to fry or that I’ve got a chip on my shoulder, but clichés are meat and drink to me. Sure, they can stick out like a sore thumb, but mark my words (and let me say this out loud and clear) a good, bad or indifferent cliché, time and time again, can warm the cockles of your heart. I could bang on about this until the cows come home, but at the end of the day, when the chips are down, a cliché is par for the course. I realise that I’ve got my work cut out but there’s no two ways about it: to some, clichés might stink to high heaven, but I’ll use them until hell freezes over.
Graham Hopkins. A letter to The Guardian, 3 January 2001
Clichés are inadequate since they do no more than ‘inspire us to believe that they adequately describe a situation while they’re merely grazing its surface’
Alain de Botton. How Proust can Change Your Life. Picador (London 1997)