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New Years Writing Resolutions

The new year means resolutions to break or bend. Here's one for travel writers everywhere: no more lazy writing. It's hard with the deadline breathing down on you and the cliche close to hand or the pun headline just screaming at you, but better writing is a stretch away.

For cliche junkies, you don't have to go it alone. Courtesy of Cassowary Crossing comes this link to 60 Pun Headlines That Travel Editors Love A Little Too Much. There's some groanworthy material here. I'm certainly guilty of Start to Finnish, but I'd restrain myself from Kenya Dig It and the horrendous Brazilliant. And Czech puns are as fashionable as plaid.

If you're still looking to kick the cliche then Chuck Thompson makes an excellent sponsor. His Smile When You're Lying serves up cynicism familiar to anyone who's ever felt like they'vw overdosed on sugar after reading the travel pages. He says that almost any city can be described as a "bewitching blend of the ancient and modern" and reckons words like "hip", "cozy" and "hot" should be avoided like blue ice. The book provides regular handouts in my travel writing classes.

But sooner or later we all fall back into cliches. They're the easy option, most people understand them and why should you have to work hard? To paraphrase Lester Bangs, cliches pay the same as gold. But Bangs was always more for steel than gold - sharp words stabbing at mediocrity. It gives me something to aspire to while singing Auld Lang Syne.

Image courtesy of SallyM.


  1. happy new year 2010 ,keep posting and shared cheers

  2. That's fairly awful, Perez. Lots of these 'words to leave in 2009' lists doing the rounds including Does this mean our bromance is at an end?


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