Gerald groaned as he listened to the following exchange:
After my brother read the BLOG article FREE FALLIN', he said that he was surprised by my using an old cliché such as "trip the light fantastic". I remember my mother singing a song with that phrase in the lyrics. Listen to the legendary Lena Horne singing New Fangled Tango.
I laughed and thinking that I achieved one-upsmanship, I asked, "Aren't all clichés OLD, or are you merely being redundant?" (I thought, "Gotcha!")
He countered with, "No passive-aggression allowed here; just admit it's a cliché!"
I answered, "I will admit that I used the phrase in a humorous way and if one makes light of the usage, then it should be apparent to readers that one is also making the point that it is a cliché and readers would grasp that it is also self-deprecating."
He replied, "HUNH? WHUT? DUH? How about using I rather than ONE?"
I asked, "But can a phrase be a cliché if it's seldom used?"
He answered, "It's old AND it's a cliché!"
I asked, "But how many times have you heard it used in the past year?"
"OK, OK, I give up; it's an old CHESTNUT!"
I was so impressed by that adroit comeback I decided to give in to his argument! I hadn't heard the phrase "an old chestnut" in years!
Definition of "an old chestnut": a subject, idea, or joke which has been discussed or repeated so many times that it is not interesting or funny any more.