Cliche’ Finder

I found a pretty cool writing tool on Lifehacker today.  It is a web site called Cliche’ Finder. Simply enter some of your writing, hit the submit button, and it will highlight in red the “cliches” in your text.  I tested it on my The Clarity of Night story “The Old Grey Wall” and was happy to discover it contained no cliche’ phrases.  Give it a try with your own writing.


9 thoughts on “Cliche’ Finder

  1. This was tool was a good find, but I wouldn’t trust it. It was smart to test the cliche finder, but your test is somewhat faulty. I don’t see any cliche writing in your story (which I loved by the way), so of course they finder won’t find any either. Maybe a better test might have been to submit some writing loaded with cliches? I tested it with the following writing I quickly worked up:

    “In what was undoubtedly the David an Goliath epic of the century, the Cinderella-story Fiesta Bowl champion Boise State Bronco squeaked past their opponent in a nail-bitter. Fans were on the edge of the seats as blue and orange emblazoned Broncos dug tricks like the Statue of Liberty and the Hook and Latter our of there play book. The giants of the gridiron duked it out, play after play, like gladiators fighting to the death. Each team fought for victory one yard at a time. The Broncos were the first to draw blood, but they took their licks, too. In a come from behind series of drives, they tied it up with a go for broke option in overtime. Some were calling this a throw the dog a bone story when the Broncos were invited to the bowl game, they’ve proved the word’s naysayers wrong. As we know today, the Broncos have captured the eyes of the nation after clinching the bowl game victory. The icing on the cake came with Johnson proposed to his cheerleader girlfriend on bended knee. And they lived happily ever after.”

    With so much to find, the Cliche Finder didn’t find a single cliche. Not one. That being the case, I don’t think I would put too much trust in this tool.

    Trust your gut (another cliche); you write well enough to catch a cliche when you see it.

  2. I’m also skeptical, I put in a chunk of my nanovel and a whole short story and it turned up nothing.
    This would normally fill me with joy, but in the case of the novel…I know I wasn’t editing enough to remove clichés, and with the short story…well…part of the main idea was to use as many clichés as possible. I haven’t checked out the list yet, but I believe that Orwell’s advice is still relevant…you just have to read anything you write with a hyper critical eye, ensuring that everything is said as simply as possible.
    I think he was talking about news writing though. I still believe that flounce is needed sometimes when you’re on the fiction jam. Plus Orwell got some funny ideas later in his career.

  3. I’ve got to try this…even if some have found it’s less than reliable. I’ve been accused of resorting to cliches. This is an interesting concept, anyway. There are so many new tools popping up for writers. I love it.
    I’m enjoying your blog–great resource.
    You’ve been blogrolled.

  4. The point of cliches though are to teach a write how to seperate their own inventive language from the rest of the world. Why take that away from yourself with a faulty machine to filter your writing. Just don’t write in cliches, it’s not that hard. Learn writing terms and how to do it yourself. For instance, learn the initial rules of concrete vs abstract- and then step into objective correlative to really read a piecec of writing the way you want to read it.

    I just feel like something to check for cliches takes away from the writer and adds more to the consumer.

  5. Sarah – it’s just another tool to use. I hope I don’t write in cliches and I haven’t actually used this cliche finder. However, do you know how sometimes you get too close to your work and have trouble seeing the faults (or good things for that matter)? I think this would help with that.

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