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I have a sentence that I need to replace; one that is somewhat cliché. What would be a good sentence (Or perhaps a phrase) that could indicate change in a somewhat stale/monotonous environment?

Sentence:

Like a breath of fresh air.

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You might consider asking about this on the Writers site as well. –  Neil Fein Mar 7 '11 at 4:34
    
Do you want to replace the cliched simile with a simile that is less cliche, or are you looking for something that is not a simile at all, or...? What's wrong with something like "...welcome change to a stale and monotonous environment"? –  oosterwal Mar 7 '11 at 17:51
    
@Neil Fein I'm quite sure the Writers would bounce this back to English SE... :| –  JFW Mar 9 '11 at 0:17

2 Answers 2

The construction you mention seems like the tail end of a simile. Whenever you say that something was "fresh like a spring rain" or "cold like an arctic wind", you're using a simile (although similes don't need to have the word like in them).

Without seeing the context if the fragment, it's difficult to propose alternatives. I would, however, argue that similes themselves are overused. You can always be direct and say what exactly was changed and why it was welcome; your writing will be far more accurate as a result. Failing that, I suggest writing your own similes, making your writing fresher and more interesting.

If you specifically want to use a familiar phrase, there are lists of similes on the net.

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In the first place, what you have is not a sentence. It is a sentence fragment, or a phrase, punctuated like a sentence.

That said, you can approach this exercise two ways: either to look for another cliché or to find something original to say. If the former, there are plenty of other clichés you might try, but you would wind up in the same predicament you're in now, so why bother?

If the latter, there are plenty of things you might say.

It was like taking a drive in brand-new car.

It was like a glimpse of blue sky after days of constant rain.

It was like an ice cold beer to a man parched from a trek through the desert.

Really, there are limitless possibilities. Use your imagination and come up with your own. You can't build your writing skills without working on them.

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protected by RegDwigнt Feb 24 '12 at 9:34

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