We use them every day in conversation - those overworked phrases and cliches that we all get tired of hearing (and saying). Maybe there's a better phrase to use than the one we automatically go to.

According to writer T.R. Slyder's article in the Chicago Tribune newspaper, here are some of those tired phrases and alternatives that we might use instead:

"It is what it is."

Slyder's Substitute: Since "it is" = "it is," don't make the definition be the exact words of the words that are also being defined. Translation: Just don't say it!


"How do you REALLY feel?"

Slyder's Substitutes:

"Say your thang, doggy!" "Easy, big tiger." "Deep breath." (And then demonstrate with an exaggerated deep breath).


"I could care less."

Slyder's Substitutes:

"I could not care less." "I have never cared less about anything."


"That is really unique."

Slyder's Substitute: Since "unique" means one of a kind, there cannot be degrees of it. "Really" has no place in this sentence. Use "unique, "original" or "one of a kind."


"The dog wants out."

Slyder's Substitute: "The dog wants to go outdoors."


"...It does. It really does."

Slyder's Substitute: Nothing!


"I am NOT a happy camper."

Slyder's Substitute: Say what you are and save everyone some time.

--From the Editors at Netscape