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    Set Phrases on Stun

    August 20, 1999

    Just in time for campaign season, we bring you the Cliche Finder page. The concept here is pretty simple. The site collects cliches, then lets visitors search for them by keywords. As this list is by no means complete, visitors are also invited to add cliches to the list (striking a blow for technology journalists everywhere, I suggested "plug and play" and "plug and pray" as phrases overdue for lexicographic exile). But while I hope that people will use this site only to check for trite sayings to avoid, I realize that I may simply be arming overenthusiastic writers with a truckload of additional cliches. Opening a virtual Pandora's box, if you will, and causing things to go from bad to worse. Sort of how some newspaper articles start out promising, but then disintegrate into a string of cliches.

    Rob Pegoraro

    © Copyright 1999 The Washington Post Company

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