Posts Tagged ‘tyrannosaurus rex’

109. The Cliché Monster

For many years I taught courses in imaginative writing to college students, and when it came time to read their work, I kept three tools of the trade close at hand.

One was a fine-point pen, with which I corrected errors of grammar and usage. Another was a mechanical pencil, with which I made marginal comments. And the third was a small rubber stamp, which fit neatly into its circular ink pad. A relic of my son’s childhood, the stamp produced a miniature image of a Tyrannosaurus Rex, complete with oversized head, upraised tail, and greedy-looking paws. At once fierce and benign in aspect, this creature was known as the Cliché Monster, and whenever a cliché appeared in a student’s essay, poem, or story, he too would appear, poised to devour the offending phrase. “Don’t feed him,” I warned the students, “or he’ll come back for more.” (more…)

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