Discussions Only We Know
14 Words/Phrases that Should be Banned
I was taught in English/Lit classes throughout school to avoid clichés. And I talk a lot about clichés here at Somewhere Only We Know. Most of the time what I’m complaining about revolves around repetitive plot lines, conflict devices, and characters. Today, what I really want to talk about is phrases and situations that seem really minor but are terribly overused…especially in modern YA literature (in my opinion). I’d be perfectly happy if these phrases were never used again. Ever.
Some of these are really just personal pet peeves. Most of them just sound super cheesy to me, which isn’t a real reason for other people not to use them. Yet I’ll always end up rolling my eyes when I come across them. Either way, I thought it might be fun/funny to list a bunch of them here and see if any of you guys are tired of these too? Here they are:
- Meet cute - Wikipedia defines meet cute as "a scene in film, television, etc. in which a future romantic couple meets for the first time in a way that is considered adorable, entertaining, or amusing. The term has existed since at least the early 1940s." And in my opinion…should never be used again.
- Romcom - A combination of the words “romantic” and “comedy”. CHEESY
- Trifecta - Google defines this as a bet in which the person betting forecasts the first three finishers in a race in the correct order, or a run of three wins or grand events. Today in YA literature, “trifecta” is often used to describe a character who has it all: looks, popularity, and the perfect boyfriend. Or some combination of three qualities to be envied. Anytime I see this word I cringe.
- Holding court - Holding court is what used to happen when subjects would come before the supreme authority (king/queen/etc) for an audience. The authority would hand down a directive and the subjects did their bidding, whatever that might be. Today this is often referring to the popular group of kids at school—specifically at lunch or break—where everyone who wants to be popular or is slightly popular will seek the approval of those who already are. It’s an overdone cliché, especially in this high school setting.
- Queen bee - Similar to “holding court”, Queen Bee is in reference to the queen of a bee hive. All of the other bees are subject to the queen and live and breathe and function to serve the queen. This is also usually only used in reference to a character that is also intolerable and mean. I realize that this cliché is as old as nature, but seriously, is there no other way to describe a character like this other than this phrase? I’m over it.
- Ice queen - Again, similar to “queen bee” this refers to a mean girl. Someone “as cold as ice.” Bleh.
- Cocking one eyebrow - How many times have you read a book and character A cocks one eyebrow and character B thinks “oh that’s so cool, I wish I could do that” Ten too many???? Yeah, me too. Cocking one eyebrow is fine. I don’t mind when a book references that in and of itself, but when the next character goes so far as to discuss how they wish they could do it too then I begin to roll my eyes.
- Sea of bodies - Used in describing a large crowd….especially when one tries to walk through the crowd and “parting the sea of bodies” can be used. Meh.
- Green eyed monster - Used in reference to jealousy. Corny. Enough said.
- Worship the ground he/she walks on - We get it. Some character is really fond of another character. If this one doesn’t betray a lack of original thought then I don’t know what does.
- Didn’t realize I was crying/let out a breath I didn’t know I was holding/heard an awful scream that I realized was coming from me - Seriously? I guess I’ve never truly been in shock to be so completely outside of myself that I don’t realize what my bodily functions are doing. I’ve never not realized I was crying. I’ve never not known it was me who was screaming. I HAVE held my breath and didn’t really realize it (stress can 100% cause this), but it’s used and used and over used. This isn’t a plot device. It moves the story along in no way. And it really doesn’t even serve to connect me to the characters emotions either. So…pointless.
- He looks like Adonis - My smirking, sarcastic face really comes out with this one. Is this the only description available for a really hot looking guy? NO!!!! Don’t use it. Ever again.
- Smile that makes a girl throw their panties - So this one is usually reserved for new adult….but really? No matter how hot a guy is, I’ve never had an inkling to throw my panties at him. Now, I know some girls actually do this as it happens at like music concerts…or so I’ve heard. BUT…surely there’s another way to describe a guy who has a really attractive smile?
- If he/she knew, XYZ about me they would run in the opposite direction. - How many books (especially new adult) have some character that has some history/baggage that causes them to think that they’re the worst person in the world and if anyone else knew their baggage then they would want nothing to do with them? All of them? Well maybe not but close. Too many. That’s for sure.
So…are any of these words/phrases that you stumble upon and have you rolling your eyes? Do you ever think “do people really think this way?” or “do people really use these words?” Have you ever wanted to shout out loud “CHEESY!!!!” when you come across any of these? What do you think? Let me know!