Create Incongruity with Cliches


One of the biggest lies in the workplace is, “I’ll get that to you by C-O-B (close of business).” What people really mean when they say that is, “I’ll get that to you by S-O-N-B-D (start of next business day).”

Which brings me to the humor tip for this week: modifying cliches.

Cliches can be a great starting point for humor because people already know how they are supposed to end (that creates an expectation). By changing the cliche, you break that expectation which can create laughter (or a smile).

Here are three ways you can modify cliches for incongruity:

  1. Use a synonym: We have to push the stationery, go the extra 1.6 kilometers, and break down the towers we store grain in.
  2. Mix and match: After all, you can lead a horse to water but you can’t put him all in one basket.
  3. Stack them: We need to create a game plan to get the ball rolling and get back into the swing of things. Then we’ll be on the right track to get ahead of the curve while we level the playing field and go the extra mile. And, if we keep our eye on the ball, we’ll knock it out of the park and it’ll be a win-win situation.

Want to have more fun with cliches? Check out these 100 cliches exploring the meaning of life.

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