Editorial Style Guide

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Clichés are worn-out expressions that have become trite through overuse. Although sometimes they’re necessary because they convey more meaning than any synonymous expression you can come up with, steer clear of them wherever possible.

Here are a few you’ll recognize:

  • acid test
  • agree to disagree
  • at the end of the day
  • bite the bullet
  • bitter end
  • blessing in disguise
  • bored to tears
  • broad daylight
  • can of worms
  • chomping at the bit
  • cool as a cucumber
  • costs an arm and a leg
  • cutting edge
  • draw a blank
  • each and every
  • easier said than done
  • far be it from me
  • fell through the cracks
  • few and far between
  • food for thought
  • foregone conclusion
  • back to the drawing board
  • ball is in your court
  • beat a dead horse
  • get nowhere fast
  • get the show on the road
  • hit the ground running
  • in the nick of time
  • it goes without saying
  • last but not least
  • moment of truth
  • more than meets the eye
  • nip it in the bud
  • Pandora’s box
  • plain as the nose on his or her face
  • play hardball
  • play it by ear
  • powers that be
  • pushing the envelope
  • seat of the pants
  • seriously consider
  • stick his or her neck out
  • team player
  • tip of the iceberg
  • 24/7
  • up in the air
  • what makes him or her tick


Massachusetts Institute of Technology

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