As someone who reads and writes a lot, I have got attuned to the rhythm of words. When someone uses a cliché, it is as jarring to me as a sudden wrong note in a piece of music.
I personally try to avoid clichés as much as possible and in trying to be alert to them, I started keeping a list of those that I hear that immediately trigger a negative response in me. Here is my list so far:
Speak truth to power
Last time I checked (when used in a sarcastic way)
Think outside the box
When the rubber meets the road
Hit the ground running
A perfect storm
Connect the dots
Light at the end of the tunnel
Start with a clean slate
Anyone else have phrases that grate on the ears (itself a phrase that is on the edge of entering clichedom) that they want to add to this list?