On Cliché: Expression, Cognition and Understanding

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This paper argues that cliché is not simply a problem of language and expression, but rather a cognitive problem or one of understanding. It locates several distinctive features of cliché, namely their characteristic superficiality (low informational content) and the typically low cognitive effort they require to understand. It then argues for a distinction between ‘external’ and ‘internal’ clichés, where the former are the well-known phrases commonly recognised as clichés, but the latter are not recognised as clichés but nevertheless function as clichés within a specific literary work.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Creative Writing Studies
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2017


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