We all speak them, be they partial or full. And, if you're a writer of stories (not songs, different animal), one of the many important things that get shoved into your head is "never use cliches". To the old way school of thinking, using cliches signifies laziness and lack of effort (unless you're a songwriter).
While for the most part that may be true, what some of those old school thinkers don't really appreciate, is that in the hands of a good writer, a cliche can be another weapon in their vast arsenal of creative goodies.
Why? Because a good writer will realize that a judicious use of a cliche template can make a story flow just as smooth as if it weren't there to begin with.
I came to this epiphany (for lack of a better term) while I was proofing my PDF for print release. One of the small reason why I got to where I am right now, is that I didn't have an over reliance on cliches. While my story does have some cliches, I did make a concentrated effort to make them pertinent to the scene in question.
I think that is the key in using cliches: making them pertinent and/or relevant to the secene question. Too often, people will throw a cliche in because it sounds nice and not because it makes sense. I mean, what good is throwing in a cliche if it don't make sense?
I'm finding that this is one of the small things that makes me grow as a writer, in that I'm weaning myself from an over reliance of cliched words and phrases. Sure I'll still use them, but I do want to make sure that when I do use it, it's relevant to the scene.
How about you? If you're a writer, do you make a concentrated effort to make the cliches that you might use relevant and more importantly, fresh for the scene? If you're a reader, doesn't matter if its a book, magazine or newspaper, do you appreciate the use of cliches, or do you find the usage a bit of a distraction?