Cliché

“I’m not being funny, but …” begins every line
My blood pressure’s rising, but really, I’m fine,
It is just as well she thought prudent to mention,
This serious matter deserves full attention.

We had an English Teacher very early on in High School, it’s funny because we all thought he was a bit of an eejit at the time, but here I am all these years later echoing what he said.

He used to say that our use of clichés was due to not being able to think quickly enough. We wish to command, or to continue commanding, the conversation, but cannot think of anything useful to say, so we come out with this meaningless little filler just to allow our brain a fraction of a second to catch up.

This guy also had a theory about swearing. Exactly the same thing. Just an inability to access the required vocabulary in the allowed time.

Just to get something out to let off the excess steam, we say “oh, fuck” because we can’t think quickly enough to be able to say “oh dear, whilst trying to bang in this nail, I just hammered my thumb instead”.

I reckon this guy was twenty years older than me, so there is every chance that he is still very much with us. If so, Thank You, Mr. Lynch.


I consider myself very fortunate to have received a good education. A very small part of that was actually me, just for having the good sense to squeeze as much as I possibly could out of the system. Today’s poem is an ode to my daughter, who had many more opportunities than I ever did, and spurned them all.

Author: Mister Bump UK

Formerly Stroke Survivor UK. Designed/developed IT systems for banks, but had a stroke in 2016, aged 48. Returned to developing from home, plus do some voluntary work. Married, with a grown-up, left-home daughter.

11 thoughts on “Cliché”

  1. So true that we don’t listen to each other. Truly listening doesn’t imply thinking about our answer or next question while the other person is speaking. Interesting approach to swearing and it offers a solution at the same time for those who doesn’t want to swear. I don’t swear a lot but less is always better!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. My English teacher said,” All of us dream of saying something quotable, the majority of us never will but the fortunate ones who do will come to regret it. Their words will be used and misused throughout time. Be yourself, don’t worry about saying the perfect thing, just say what’s true to you.” I’ve never forgotten Mrs. Swenson. Best advice ever, being true to one’s self the words will follow naturally.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Lyn, it’s funny isn’t it? Just how much we remember good teachers, still. Your teacher was right, of course, people must turn in their graves when they hear how their words have been taken out of context. Pete

      Liked by 1 person

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