“. . . no need to reset the individual letters, just stamp that thing on the page and keep going.”

For 19th-century typesetters, a cliché was a piece of language encountered so often in the course of their work that it had earned its own printing plate – no need to reset the individual letters, just stamp that thing on the page and keep going. So the cliché was an object, and a useful one: a concrete unit of communication that minimized labor and sped things up.

–James Parker

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