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LESSON 4 : THAT’S ALL BEEN SAID BEFORE! BORING . . . ZZZZ Words Relating to Unoriginal, Dull, Played Out. Banal. To wake up and realize your adventure was all a dream is a banal ending for a short story.

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LESSON 4: THAT’S ALL BEEN SAID BEFORE! BORING . . . ZZZZ

Words Relating to Unoriginal, Dull, Played Out


Banal

  • To wake up and realize your adventure was all a dream is a banal ending for a short story.

  • Have you heard the banal joke about the moron who threw the clock out the window in order to see time fly?

  • Banality is boring because it’s so predictable.

Adjective

Dull or stale because of overuse; trite; hackneyed


Cliché

  • “I’m so hungry I could eat a rhinoceros,” gives an original twist to an old cliché.

  • Good writers avoid clichés like the plague.

  • Lazy writers rely on clichés because it’s hard work to express ideas with fresh, new phrases.

Noun

An idea or expression that has become stale due to overuse


Derivative

  • “Write an original sci-fi story,” instructed Mr. Schirmer, “not derivative fiction drawn from 2001: A Space Odyssey or The Time Machine.”

  • Instead of presenting her unique artistic vision, Julie’s derivative work resembled paintings of the old masters.

Adjective

Unoriginal; taken from something already existing


Hackneyed

  • Only hack writers rely on hackneyed expressions. That’s what makes them hacks.

  • Miss Cole, our poetry teacher, said, “Because poets aim to create new insights, they shun hackneyed language.” Then she added, “If you think imaginatively, you’ll avoid hackneyed phrases such as ruby lips and rosy-fingered dawn.”

Adjective

Made commonplace by overuse; trite


Insipid

  • The conversation at dinner was so insipid that Monica fell asleep at the table.

  • What kept the Hagans from going to church on Sunday morning was the minister, whose insipid sermons made them want to go back to bed.

  • What I thought would be a scary movie turned out to be an insipid story of a harmless ghost.

Adjective

Lacking flavor or taste; unexciting


Lackluster

  • Laura’s lackluster grades may prevent her from going to a top college.

  • The candidate’s lackluster speech failed to inspire the voters.

  • Even a superior actor can’t enliven a lackluster script.

Adjective

Lacking vitality, energy, or brightness; boring


Mundane

  • In contrast to the new an unusual, the mundane happenings of everyday existence are pretty dull.

  • Woolf is an author who can find something magical even in such a mundane activity as brushing one’s teeth.

  • The movies offer an escape from the mundane character of daily life.

Adjective

Commonplace; ordinary


Platitude

  • How Rick’s poem won an award for originality boggles my mind, since it consists of nothing but platitudes.

  • A platitude is as enriching intellectually as last month’s bread is satisfying nutritionally.

  • A recipe to induce sleep is a monotonous voice and a plethora of platitudes.

Noun

Quality of being dull; an obvious remark uttered as if it were original


Prosaic

  • The novel Mr. and Mrs. Bridge is an indictment of an ordinary American couple who lead the dullest, most prosaic life imaginable.

  • Aprosaic Sunday morning means sleeping late and lingering over a big pancake breakfast while browsing the Sunday newspaper.

  • What is more prosaic than a movie and pizza on a Friday night?

Adjective

Dull; commonplace


Trite

  • Because my essay was filled with clichés, Mr. Gill red-penciled “trite” all over it.

  • When Bob asked what I thought of getting up at 4 A.M., only the tritest response came to me: “Well, they say the early bird catches the worm.”

  • Mr. Gill claims that triteness is a sign of an air-filled brain.

Adjective

Unoriginal and stale due to overuse


Vapid

  • Behind every uninspiring, vapid TV sitcom, you’ll find an empty-headed producer, director, and screenwriter.

  • Tired of vapid advertising gimmicks, the company resorted to skywriting to promote its newest line of swimwear.

  • The speaker’s vapid delivery emptied the conference hall within ten minutes.

Adjective

Lacking freshness and zest; flat; stale


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