At cliche.theinfo.org writers can paste any piece of text into a blank field, click Find Cliches, and be taken to another page that highlights any and all cliches found in red (check out the screenshot below).
The website uses cliches from The Associated Press Guide to News Writing by Rene J. Cappon, and the home page features a quote from Author George Orwell’s book Politics and the English Language:
[Political] prose consists less and less of words chosen for the sake of their meaning, and more and more of phrases tacked together like the sections of a prefabricated hen-house.
Even if you aren’t worried about cliches present in your own writing, try it out. It’s a fun tool.
Cliches are present everywhere, in the texts we read and speeches we hear every day. While they can at times be irritating and overused, they also serve a purpose in writing. Cliches can have a comic effect on a piece, and they also reveal something about cultures. In order for something to be predictable, it has to be expected, which shows readers much about what particular sets of people value. They also help readers see developing patterns in texts, which may aid them in their overall understanding of the piece.
However, in order to use cliches effectively, we have to be able to find them first. The Cliche Finder just makes it a little simpler.