Similar to AnnMarie, my initial instinct when looking at boilerplates was “About Us”. Specifically, I was drawn to investigate the descriptions of family restaurants. Each one claims to have its signature dish, “the best [insert food] in [insert town], [insert state]. Each restaurant tells a similar story of grandparents establishing a cute little joint, or how it’s a “great time”. Beyond local restaurants, chains like The Rusty Bucket, for example, create a local, personal atmosphere, attempting to be unique, yet falling in to the same descriptions as every other restaurant on the street. Based solely on the About Us sections of these restaurants’ websites, without names, they really are (cue cliche) all one in the same .
The more I’ve thought about it, the more I have realized how often we inadvertently use cliches. Especially when dealing with advice, cliches tend to creep into writing or speech. For example, to “take it with a grain of salt” is used way too often. Be skeptical. Doubt the person. Consider the advice, but don’t necessarily listen to it. The intent of the cliche is relevant. But we get bound into only expressing it one way. People get lazy and resort to the cliche without a second thought.