Feels like a two-word command From a demon baker in French pastry school. “Hack-knead!” Like ‘hack your dough, then knead it.’ Pretty aggressive for a step in the bread-making process, which for most people is a leisurely activity, and not the subject of wannabe French pastry chefs. Yet the word hackneyed also sounds interesting. Which is interesting Because by definition Hackneyed means the opposite of interesting. It means dull from overuse. It means unoriginal. It means trite. A hackneyed phrase is a phrase you hear all the time- like a cliché. A hackneyed painting is a painting that is derivative of other work. Splatter colorful paints on a page and call yourself Pollack. That’s derivative. That’s hackneyed. That’s Maude Lebowski That’s not Jackson Pollack. Upon editing, you may elect to use ‘trite’ instead of hackneyed, for the sake of being concise. This is an important writing consideration. But it’s only one consideration One aspect (granted a big one) of good writing. Other aspects include rhetorical command, an understanding that language is sheet music on a page where loose-leaf is the staff. Language has rhythm. It has refrain. Sometimes we want staccato sounds (consonant dominating)- “The professor goes on one hackneyed diatribe after another.” Sometimes we want legato sounds (vowel-esque slurs)- “Even though the technology he used for presentations was trite, the professor spoke with passion, and therefore won over a frustrated college audience.” Other times we want both. Sticcatto now. Legato later. Sticcatto and legato combined in the conclusion. Thus, Hacking away hackneyed turning to trite could work in some circumstances. In others, the dough you hack Is the dough you need. There, let it rise make French pastry chefs and professors proud.