1. Cacian
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    Cacian Banned

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    Is this a cliche?

    Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by Cacian, Jan 24, 2012.

    this expression:

    ''do you want the bad news or the good news first''
    ?

    and which do you/normally or people usually go for?
    the first or the second?
     
  2. CH878
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    CH878 Active Member

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    Yes it's a cliche

    I'd go for bad news first, another cliche of sorts
     
  3. Enzo03
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    Enzo03 Member

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    I'd say it's borderline cliche to go for that.

    What is definitely cliche is the whole "well there's good news and bad news. The good news is (blah blah blah). The bad news is (blah blah blah blah).

    Switch it around and it becomes slightly less cliche but not much.

    It probably doesn't even have to have the direct "good news - bad news" approach to be cliche.

    For what it is worth, in real life I prefer to give and hear bad news first. It makes people feel better to have the good news last.
     
  4. Cacian
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    Cacian Banned

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    why another cliche of sorts?
    you mean it is less cliche if we went for the second instead first?

    That is very true, but then it depends who you are telling and why.
    the good news first can be the norm and then bad news second if the receiver is going to rejoice at the bad news too, then this cliche would not stand right?
     
  5. CH878
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    CH878 Active Member

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    No, I mean that if I am asked whether I want to hear the good or bad news first, I'd go for the bad news first, then the good news, which is the way round people usually choose in books/films (at least the ones I've read/watched), which means my choice is sort of a cliche as well, because you'd expect people to choose to hear the bad news first.
     
  6. Cacian
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    Cacian Banned

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    of course I understand now which means to me there is no need to ask the question at the first place because the answer would be obvious.
     
  7. CH878
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    CH878 Active Member

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    The answer isn't necessarily obvious, but yeah, people do tend to go for the bad news first. However, you could make a character more interesting/different by having them go for the good news first.
     
  8. Cacian
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    Cacian Banned

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    you are definetely right here.
    so I can write a whole story/stories based around cliches where I will proceed into breaking them all like you suggested by going the not so obvious
    You have given an excellent idea.
    Like this
    blond bombshell I could turn into brunette/brown/redhead bombshell.
    Page three girl can become a page three best picture/lottery lucky numbers/sought afterobjects like antique.
    do you think this will work?
     
  9. CH878
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    CH878 Active Member

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    Yes, I think that's a good idea, but I'd go more along these lines:

    A blond bombshell that's actually highly intelligent
    A soldier who is very sensitive and understands emotions

    You could take a cliche, such as blondes being thick, and then twist it round to surprise the reader.
     
  10. Cacian
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    Cacian Banned

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    that sounds just perfect.
    You are quite clever. I am impressed.
    Thank you for this.
    you have given me things to think about ..hehe..thank you.:p
     
  11. CH878
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    CH878 Active Member

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    You are welcome
     
  12. SeverinR
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    SeverinR Contributing Member

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    Bad news versus good news first...
    I would say it would depend on the attitude of the person.

    Happy outgoing people might chose good news first, looking on the bright side first.

    average of depressed people would probably want to face the "bad" first.
    I do believe more people go for the bad first on average, but I only believe this based on experiences not on real studies.
     
  13. Link the Writer
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    Link the Writer Flipping Out For A Good Story. Contributor

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    I like the good news first, so that way it acts as a cushion for the bad news.
     
  14. Mallory
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    Mallory Mallegory. Contributor

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    I prefer good news last. That was it can make you feel better after the bad news, and so that your good news isn't ruined by thinking "Shit, what's the bad news, what's the bad news..." because unless it's something really serious (like a death), anticipating the bad news is worse than actually getting it. (Which is why I hate "we need to talk" type prefaces to serious conversation).

    Although it's a cliche, there's nothing wrong with cliches if it's dialogue spoken by a character who would say that sort of thing. I would never tell someone "You look as cute as a little baby duck in springtime," but if I'm writing dialogue for an eccentric old lady that provides comic relief, then I might have her say that.
     
  15. Fullmetal Xeno
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    Fullmetal Xeno Protector of Literature Contributor

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    I don't understand how that is a cliche.
     
  16. Mallory
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    Mallory Mallegory. Contributor

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    Well, she means it in the sense that it's something you always hear people/characters say.
     
  17. art
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    art Contributing Member Contributor

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    It's fun to speculate. I don't really know what I've asked for first, previously, but do know that if presented with a roast dinner I will always eat the Yorkshire Puddings first (very scrumptious) and leave the carrots (not very scrumptious) 'til last (or give to the dog). Points of to a certain lack of fortitude/ self-discipline perhaps. I fancy most who eat their dinners in that fashion might opt for the good news first.
     
  18. Cacian
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    Interesting allegory.
    I did notice lots of people eat nice things first then eat the least last or not at all.
    The fact that you compared it to this cliche makes sense.
    But this makes me think of this
    is is true that people eat with their eyes? another cliche I guess.
    and would that equal as saying that people prefer to hear the best words first then the not so good ones second?
     
  19. Cacian
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    I am the opposite the bad first then the goog second..hehe human nature hey...:p
    this made think of the Shakespear line:

    'to be or not to be'?

    'the bad or the good news first'?

    it offers the listener only two possiblities, not to chose but to number as to which order they would be answered.
     
  20. VM80
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    VM80 Contributing Member Contributor

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    If I'm eating, say, a stew or roast dinner, I tend to leave the meat (= best) for last. I might give it a taste whilst struggling through the potatoes and vegetables, but most will be consumed at the end. :cool:

    So, with that in mind: which news I want first depends perhaps on how bad we're talking (which can often be determined by the messenger's attitude, I suppose.)
    If not so very bad, bad first. If very bad, then I may not care what the good news is, at that time, at all.
     
  21. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    i wouldn't classify it as a 'cliche'... just as a 'common expression'... to me, there's a shade of difference...

    anyone else?
     
  22. Link the Writer
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    Link the Writer Flipping Out For A Good Story. Contributor

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    That's what I figured myself. It's no different than phrases like...

    "Are you okay?"
    "Grab my hand!"
    "Stick with me, all right?"/"Trust me on this."
    "I don't believe you."
    etc., etc., etc...
     
  23. Melzaar the Almighty
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    Melzaar the Almighty Contributing Member Contributor

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    I think writing wise you can switch it around not so much as what the character might respond, but phrase it as "I have good news and bad news. The good news is..." and then the two bits of news are ordered in whichever way is most plot significant/the best arrangement for a laugh depending on the story.

    For example, in something dramatic whether the characters talking are more likely to ask for the good or bad first, if they're going to have a lot to say about the bad news but not much to say about the good news, then you'll want to do good news first unless you feel like sticking it in as an afterthought. Generally I'd say that'd be the more sloppy way.

    Comedy wise, a lot of doctor jokes centre around the good news/bad news phrase, where it depends whether the doctor is trying to play up the good side, saying they did well, then throwing in the bad news as an after thought, or else delivering bad news, but finding a quirky silver lining to the situation. In non-joke territory within proper prose etc which is comedic, the same effect could be used, but I'm too lazy to think of a classier example than bad one liner jokes. :p

    I personally tend to ask for bad news first, but recently this got turned back on me: I asked my friend over MSN for the bad news first: she told me she had an illness. Then her internet died for 2 days and I never found out the good news :p I mean it may have bugged me to not know the bad news, but since she'd been worrying about carbon monoxide poisoning (her house got evacuated) at least her good news that she didn't have poisoning would have meant there was literally no bad news that could be as bad as "I'm dying of carbon monoxide poisoning, like, as I type." Since I got her bad news and it wasn't that, then at least I was a little cheered up :p I dunno. Funny this thread should come up since that's still something that only happened this week to me :D
     

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