Every writer knows the rule: Avoid clichés like the plague! Wait I can't say that, it is a cliché. Let me try again, I hate to beat a dead horse but... No that won't work either.
If you have ever listened to actual dialogue, it is filled with clichés, colloquialisms and generally poor grammar. I live in the South and can assure you that it is impossible to write realistic Southern dialogue without peppering it with slang, clichés, fragmented sentences and poor grammatical exposition.
Even stories are clichéd. There are a finite number of plots and most are very predictable. This blog discusses the need for originality:
A writer’s job is to write stories—not to steal or borrow them and, with a coat of fresh paint, pawn them off as original. http://www.writersdigest.com/whats-new/10-tips-to-bypass-cliche-and-melodrama
Yet it is totally contradicted by a recent article on plots. https://www.theguardian.com/books/booksblog/2016/jul/13/three-six-or-36-how-many-basic-plots-are-there-in-all-stories-ever-written
and a literary scholar asserts the number of basic plots may be as few as seven:
According to Mr. Booker, there are only seven basic plots in the whole world -- plots that are recycled again and again in novels, movies, plays and operas. Those seven plots are: 1.Overcoming the Monster, 2.Rags to Riches, 3.The Quest, 4.Voyage and Return, 5.Rebirth, 6.Comedy and 7.Tragedy. http://www.nytimes.com/2005/04/15/books/the-plot-thins-or-are-no-stories-new.html
You generally only need to know the basic elements of a story to predict the ending. How many times have we guessed the ending of a blockbuster movie or a best selling novel?
This blog hits the nail on the head (oh geez another cliché) concerning clichéd dialogue:
The good news for those of who don’t like rules, is that their jurisdiction ends the moment you insert a quotation mark. The quote is like the county line of grammar enforcement. http://thewritepractice.com/want-write-better-dialogue-break-rules/
And this Reddit subgroup agrees that avoiding clichés in dialogue sounds stilted and unrealistic:
Have you ever read the kind of dialogue an author writes when s/he's trying to avoid all cliche? It makes all the characters sound like quirky English majors trying to come up with new phrases https://www.reddit.com/r/writing/comments/1w1d1z/are_cliches_and_commonly_said_phrases_acceptable/
Of course clichés can be overdone as pointed out on this definitive list: https://gointothestory.blcklst.com/definitive-list-of-cliched-dialogue-9b8f469bc305?gi=b63bb27731f
But I still think clichés have a time and a place in writing (I guess I am hopeless)
So why are writer's told to avoid clichés in their fiction writing?