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Corsican paper wins cliché award

Corsica's daily newspaper, Corse Matin, has seen off stiff competition to win award for overuse of clichés

CORSICA’S daily newspaper, Corse Matin, has seen off stiff competition to rise to the top of a league table for use of media clichés.

News website rue89 used monitoring tools to pick out some of France's finest knee-jerk phrases, including: la cerise sur le gâteau (the cherry on the cake), le vent en poupe (to have the wind behind you), grincer des dents (grind your teeth) and revoir sa copie (go back to the drawing board) and then identify some 6,500 articles in the French-speaking press that used them over the course of the past year.

Taking into account the number of articles that appeared online against the number of clichés, the regional newspaper was crowned cliché king, with a score of nearly twice that of its nearest rival Maxifoot.

In terms of the sheer number of clichés produced, La Depeche takes centre stage, with La Voix du Nord and Le Figaro in hot pursuit.

While the latter’s term of choice was grincer des dents, its staunch rival, Le Monde, preferred to have the cerise sur le gateau.

For the second year running, the cherry on the cake has been the nation’s favourite, while le vent en poupe has squeezed into second, muscling out la cour des grands, last year’s second place.

The site rue89 included its own ranking of 31st place; after all, at the end of the day, it’s only fair.

Top 10 clichés to make the French grind their teeth

1. la cerise sur le gâteau - the cherry on the cake
2. le vent en poupe - the wind in his sails/behind him
3. grincer des dents - to grind your teeth
4. la cour des grands - the big league
5. un pavé dans la mare - a stone in the lake / cat among the pigeons
6. la croisée des chemins - at the crossroads
7. caracoler en tête - to gallop ahead
8. l'ironie de l'histoire - the irony of the story
9. revoir sa copie - go back to the drawing board
10. attendu au tournant - lying in wait

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