– I wrote a drama column for The Wall Street Journal yesterday. My editor kicked it back to me with the observation that I’d already used the word “clunker” three times so far this season, and would I please come up with a different way to describe the play in question? At once delighted and puzzled by his apparent omniscience, I wrote back to ask how the hell he could possibly know such a thing. It turns out that Journal editors have access to an online archive which allows them to make electronic queries of precisely that sort. My editor, who had a vague inkling of having run across the word “clunker” in one of my recent reviews, checked it out and hit pay dirt.
I was, as I say, delighted to have been caught in the act. Not surprisingly, we all have our personal clich