Ben Blatt's fascinating new book, Nabokov's Favorite Word is Mauve, combines statistical analysis and literature. Using a database of thousands of books and hundreds of millions of words, Blatt answers everything from what are our favorite authors' favorite words to which contemporary writer uses the most clichés to the controversial topic of adverb usage. Read on for a look at some of Blatt's findings. . . .
I took all expressions mentioned in the 2013 book by Christine Ammer titled The Dictionary of Clichés. These are phrases like "fish out of water," "dressed to kill," and "not one's cup of tea"—4,000 phrases in total. To my knowledge, Ammer's book is the largest collection of English language clichés. I then scanned through the complete bibliographies of the same 50 authors mentioned above to see who used the most clichés.
The answer: James Patterson.
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