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Can I use this popular phrase... : Conversation question • Writing Forum | WritersDigest.com

Can I use this popular phrase...

Every month in Writer's Digest's InkWell section, we pose a question related to the writing life. Tell us your thoughts.
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Loretta Green
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Can I use this popular phrase...

Postby Loretta Green » Mon Jan 11, 2016 4:36 am

Can I use the phrase, 'Breakfast of Champion's' in my story? It is probably copyrighted isn't it? The sentence I want to use it in is: He was in the middle of his Breakfast of Champion's when the police pounded on the door. If not, any suggestions that are made up but sound like something from Pop culture?

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Terry T.A. Rodgers
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Re: Can I use this popular phrase...

Postby Terry T.A. Rodgers » Mon Jan 11, 2016 8:35 am

It's a bit cliché. How about make something up and create your own cliché. :)

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pls
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Re: Can I use this popular phrase...

Postby pls » Mon Jan 11, 2016 10:30 am

Whatever you do, if you use it, lose the apostrophe in "champions".
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James A. Ritchie
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Re: Can I use this popular phrase...

Postby James A. Ritchie » Mon Jan 11, 2016 12:25 pm

Yes, but as PLS says, get rid of the apostrophe. It is a cliché, but will still work well if used at the right time. Certain types of clichés work well, if you understand that it is a cliché, and if the readers know you know it's a cliché. You do this by connecting it to someone eating breakfast.

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Loretta Green
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Re: Can I use this popular phrase...

Postby Loretta Green » Mon Jan 11, 2016 4:13 pm

Thanks guys, I decided you were right, and ended up going with a different idea. One that fit better, as it turns out. I guess it goes to show you, not to be satisfied with the first thing you put on the page. The first image that comes to mind are hardly ever original, and seldom the best fit.

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DrG2
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Re: Can I use this popular phrase...

Postby DrG2 » Mon Jan 11, 2016 11:01 pm

Kurt Vonnegut used it for a book title, so I'd guess it's not trademarked by Wheaties. If it is, I'm not sure what fair use is.

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onceuponwednesday
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Re: Can I use this popular phrase...

Postby onceuponwednesday » Tue Jan 12, 2016 12:12 am

The Rule of Three

James A. Ritchie
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Re: Can I use this popular phrase...

Postby James A. Ritchie » Tue Jan 12, 2016 9:16 am


James A. Ritchie
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Re: Can I use this popular phrase...

Postby James A. Ritchie » Tue Jan 12, 2016 9:18 am



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