Friday, October 29, 2010

Cliché: high as a kite

Meaning:  intoxicated (example)

Rewrite 1: High as a crop duster
Rewrite 2: High as a loon
Rewrite 3: Tumbling in the clouds
Rewrite 4: Partying past Everest
Rewrite 5: Flying with the Shuttle

Comment: I tried to give some sense of the euphoria of intoxication accompanied with a sense of being above board. Some of it has a double entendre nature to it. How would you rewrite or recast this cliché and keep its dual nature? 

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More double entendres
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Thursday, October 28, 2010

Cliché: hen pecked

Meaning: males harassed by females (example)

Rewrite 1: sow slopped
Rewrite 2: bitch nipped
Rewrite 3: ewe butted
Rewrite 4: lioness mauled
Rewrite 5: apron whipped

Comment: I tried to stay with the female of the species until the last item, and then I tried to pick up on something that species would do to grapple with one of their own species.

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Life with family animals
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Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Cliché: heard it through the grapevine

Meaning: gossip, "news" heard from unofficial sources (example 1, example 2)

Rewrite 1: heard it at the watercooler
Rewrite 2: received it on e-mail
Rewrite 3: rd it on txt
Rewrite 4: saw it on Facebook (or Twitter)
Rewrite 5: read it on Drudge
Rewrite 6: Saw it on E!

Comment: Some an updating of "technology" from grapevine to social media.

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Legal ins and outs for writing about entertainment industry
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Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Cliché: heads up!

Meaning: Be alert, be watchful (example 1, example 2)

Rewrite 1: eyes open!
Rewrite 2: ears piqued!
Rewrite 3: blinders off!
Rewrite 4: on-off switches "on"!
Rewrite 5: plugs in the wall!

Comment: This is generally about keeping alert, being aware, but I thought it might also be about watching out for things we might overlook.

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More idioms to profit by
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Monday, October 25, 2010

Cliché: head over heels

Meaning: excited; turning bodyflips or cartwheels (example)

Rewrite 1: noggin over joggin
Rewrite 2: cap over socks
Rewrite 3: helmet over cleats
Rewrite 4: nose over toes
Rewrite 5: knees over shoulders

Comment: Most of these are just another way of saying the same thing, although I did at least change the general terms and order a bit. It might have been fun to say something more like "knocked into body flips" or "rolling like a Catherine's wheel."

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How the pros write about sports
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Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Cliché: he's toast

meaning: facing certain defeat (example - be toast

Rewrite 1: he's month-old biscuit
Rewrite 2: he's burnt bacon
Rewrite 3: he's melted ice
Rewrite 4: he's overdosed on Tobasco
Rewrite 5: he's past his use-by date

Comment: These all relate to food in different states of disaster. What other metaphors might you explore?

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Women and food
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Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Cliché: egg on your face, have

Meaning: embarrassed or look stupid (example

Rewrite 1: catsup on your chin
Rewrite 2: soup on your tie
Rewrite 3: ink in your pocket
Rewrite 4: price tag on your sleeve
Rewrite 5: tear in your trousers

Comment: I tried to think of little accidents of which one might be caught unaware that would make you look foolish. What other kinds of situations might be embarrassing that could be expressed in this kind of cliché?

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Writing for well-being
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Monday, October 11, 2010

Cliché: harebrained idea

Meaning: foolish, poorly thought out (example)

Rewrite 1: squirrelbrained idea
Rewrite 2: muttbrained idea
Rewrite 3: teenbrained idea
Rewrite 4: blondebrained idea
Rewrite 5: football-without-a-helmetbrained idea

Comment: These all tend to be the more stereotyped weak-minded-folk examples, but we all know that they don't apply to everyone in these groups. I encourage you to come up with better examples and share them here.

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Writing to generate great ideas
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Friday, October 08, 2010

Cliché: hammered

Meaning: drunk (example)

Rewrite 1: ball-peened
Rewrite 2: nail-headed
Rewrite 3: bat-beaned
Rewrite 4: slammed silly
Rewrite 5: beer-whacked
Rewrite 6: shot slappy

Comments: I would like to have worked in being splattered or hit between the eyes with a 2 by 4 or something more evocative, but this list should do for a starter. What can you come up with?

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Writing about construction?
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