Wednesday, July 19, 2006

At the end of the day there has to be a way to avoid cliches...

A couple of years ago, Chris Pash, an Australian colleague, and Factiva's Director of Publisher Relations in Asia Pacific showed me a "Cliche Index" he'd developed. He and his journalist mates would brainstrom what they considered to be the most frequently used (and abused) cliches. Chris then ran searches for those cliches across to see which in fact were used most frequently. It's a but of fun, but also an interesting demonstration of how the English language changes over time.

These days, we're able to use our Factiva Insight technology to track more cliches and update the index more frequently. The system can even tell us which publications are using the cliches...writers be warned!

WSJ Columnist and blogger, Jeremy Wagstaff has just written about the latest Factiva Cliche Index - check it out.


Blogger Melanie Surplice said...

Since Jeremy's post on Loosewire, other writers have had fun with the Cliche Index, the latest being Bob Baker on (see, CanuckFlack ( and Scoopt Words Blog (

The Indian media have also jumped on the bandwagon (that would surely have to be another cliche worth monitoring), with a piece in the Hindu Business Line ( and other blogs site including and

4:07 PM  

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