The Joy of Mastering Clichés in English

  • Playlist
  • Download
  • Embed
    <iframe src="" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Iranian-born commentator Roya Hakakian remembers the daunting goal she set for herself — becoming a writer in English. Although nervous about her command of our language, Hakakian signed up for a poetry class with beat generation poet Allen Ginsberg at Brooklyn College. Hakakian was delighted when Ginsberg trashed her first writing sample as riddled with "clichés" and "overused adjectives." She was thrilled to have mastered the trite phrase.



Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the Community rules and terms of use, and will be moderated prior to posting. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.

NPR thanks our sponsors

Become an NPR sponsor

Support comes from