Part of speech:
(Adjectives are describing words, like “large” or “late.”
They can be used in two ways:
1. Right before a noun, as in “a hackneyed approach”
2. After a linking verb, as in “Their approach was hackneyed.”)
Literally, a hackney is a horse that gets used often for regular riding.
So, when something is hackneyed, it's been "trotted out" many times before: it's common, worn-out, and boring.
In other words, hackneyed things have been said or done many, many times before. They're old and overdone.
You can say "unhackneyed," but why not just say "fresh," "original," or "creative" instead?
How to use it:
Talk about an action, a word or phrase, a joke, a piece of writing, a plot, a story and so on being hackneyed. Anything dull and unoriginal can be called hackneyed, but hackneyed things are usually related to language: a hackneyed pun, a hackneyed movie plot, a hackneyed saying, and so on.
I love to photograph people in action! Pictures of people staring icily right at the camera are so hackneyed.
The hectic plot, the goofy characters, the moral of "be yourself"--everything about that hackneyed daytime sitcom is terrible.
Look away from the screen to explain the definition in your own words. You'll know you understand what "hackneyed" means when you can explain it without saying "stale" or "overdone."
Think of the last time you sighed and thought "Ugh, this same kind of thing? Again?", and fill in the blanks: “Spare me this hackneyed _____, (person or group).”
Example: “Spare me this hackneyed song about how you totally do whatever you want, Miss Cyrus.”
Spend at least 20 seconds occupying your mind with the game and quote below. Then try the review questions. Don't go straight to the review now; let your working memory empty out first.
Playing With Words:
This month's game is "Guess the real pop song title when I give you a long-winded, highfalutin version of it." All the answers this month will be titles of popular songs released no earlier than 2012. Try it out each day and see the right answer the next day. We're playing this in order to appreciate the simple, precise vocabulary of pop song titles, despite how often they are criticized for being sappy, trite, and simplistic.
Yesterday’s answer: “Borders Which Have Been Made Ambiguous” is really “Blurred Lines” by Robin Thicke featuring T.I. and Pharrell.
Try this one today: “I Ascertained That You Would Wreak Havoc and Cause Distress”
A Point Well Made:
Mark Zuckerberg: “As long as we are connected, then no attacks by extremists... can stand in the way of history’s arc towards freedom and acceptance for all.”
1. The opposite of HACKNEYED is
2. The film centers on the hackneyed theme of _____.
A. falling in love with the wrong person.
B. the fascinating lives of little-known composers.
C. what exactly happens as DNA replicates itself.
Answers are below.
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Make Your Point is crafted with love and brought to you each day for free by Mrs. Liesl Johnson, M.Ed., a word lover, learning enthusiast, and private tutor of reading and writing in the verdant little town of Hilo, Hawaii. For writing tips, online learning, essay guidance, and more, please visit www.HiloTutor.com.
Disclaimer: Word meanings presented here are expressed in plain language and are limited to common, useful applications only. Readers interested in authoritative and multiple definitions of words are encouraged to check a dictionary. Likewise, word meanings, usage, and pronunciations are limited to American English; these elements may vary across world Englishes.
Answers to review questions:
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