They say Eskimos have over fifty variations of the word snow. Our own language of English also seems to have an infinite number of words, but we find ourselves using the same ones over and over.
Sometimes when I read over my writing I notice words that pop up over and over again. Like over just did. But the word I am most guilty of repeating was also in that last sentence, “just”. It seems to pop up at just about every occasion.
The worst is when trying to be clever with your prose and you discover your imagination has finite boundaries. Fate would have it that two different pieces I wrote that were written a month apart, ended up on a website one right after the other. One was a review of a concert, the other was an interview with a musician. Neither band had much in common with the other and yet I discovered as I read the published pieces that I described both as “the clown princes of” their respective musical genres (one was the clown princes of blues the other was the clown prince of funk).
I thought it was a witty phrasing, a homage to Batman’s arch-nemesis the Joker, the clown prince of crime, that would make at least one sentence pop out with a combination of the creative and the familiar. But instead I unwittingly set the foundations for a new cliche with the repetition of the unconscious.