Witty Self-expression logo How To Reform a Cliche

Reforming produces such spectacular results that it is worth looking at how to do it in detail. Here's the procedure:
  1. Start with a concept word, a word relevant to your point. Put that word as the first entry on a list of related concept words. For example, start with "wit."
  2. Use a thesaurus and look up synonyms for the concept word and put them on the list. Choose in particular synonyms that have different rhymes. Among the synonyms for "wit" we find "quip" and "jive."
  3. Look up antonyms as well and put them on the list. You can talk about one thing by talking about its opposite. Again, prefer words with different rhymes.
  4. For each of the words on the list, look up its rhymes in a rhyming dictionary. For "quip," we find "lip." For "jive," we find "drive."
  5. For each of those rhyming words, find as many well-known phrases as you can that include it. For "lip," among others we find: "There's many the slip twixt cup and lip." For "drive": "Don't drink and drive."
  6. Substitute the concept word into the phrase for the word it rhymes with and make what other adjustments the phrase seems to call for.
  7. Select those that are best for your purpose. That's how we get, "There's many the slip twixt cup and quip. Don't drink and jive."