When an idea or expression is repeated frequently and is accepted as valid by most people, a cliché happens. It can be said that a cliché is the simplification of a reality . It is also used as a synonym for stereotype.
Examples of clichés
It is quite common when we refer to something of a national character to use a cliché. Generally speaking, each audience has a series of clichés. Thus, it is customary to say that the Spaniards are happy, passionate about flamenco and bullfighting, as well as being very Catholic. Argentineans emphasize the passion for football, therefore, for their meat and even psychoanalysis. About Brazilians, it is said that they are happy people, who like to dance, play soccer, go to the beach and drink caipirinha. In relation to Italians, the idea is common that they are seductive, elegant, that they gesture a lot when talking and that they are pasta lovers. These clichés are typical of each people and largely distort reality.
It can be said that every cliché has something true and on the other hand something exaggeration and falsification, for example, it is true that in Spain there are lovers of bullfighting, but there are some Spanish territories where this practice is prohibited. In most cases, clichés happen because of lack of knowledge of reality or because they are confused with the whole. Examples: Argentine football is much more than River Plate and Boca Juniors; France is much more than Paris, and it’s not true that every Brazilian goes to the beach.
Clichés appear both in oral or written communication as well as in cinematographic language . Some scenes or situations have become authentic clichés. A brief list of examples could be as follows: the scene of a woman in the shower and the oncoming sign; the scene of the cables of a bomb; the image of Italian mobsters eating spaghetti in a restaurant and a fired policeman investigating on his own.
The curious origin of the word cliché
The term cliché comes from French, more specifically from the verb cliche, which means to print texts and images in the press. It is an onomatopoeic word because it refers to the sound of a matrix engraved on a metal plate intended for printing images and texts. A synonym for cliché would be the word stereotype, a word that has two different meanings: expression or fixed idea about something and also a plate used in typographic composition.