Cliche of the Week 62 – Feral

September 12, 2011 at 1:13 pm Leave a comment

The word feral swept into British newspaper coverage as quickly as the London riots started.

But it’s Australians who love the untamed descriptor, with local journalists using the word on average twice as much as their British counterparts.

Last month, feral grubbed into the mainstream media 1800 times, mostly in the British media and lately linked with underclass and criminal. Two years ago, it was less than half that.

Australians use the word creatively and not just to describe exotic animals or rabbits that have gone bush.

“(Collingwood coach Mick) Malthouse yesterday said he had no intention of being part of the club’s campaign against feral crowd behaviour” (The Courier-Mail, August 17).

The weather: “Quite frankly it looked feral” (The West Australian, August 1).

“Another schoolgirl had red paint poured over her clothes and pencil case, and her school books torn to shreds. The third was verbally abused, being called feral and a dog” (Herald-Sun, August 19).

“Pinot noir with its slightly feral characters” (The West Australian, July 28).

“Investors become acutely aware of just how much is beyond their control whenever sharemarkets turn feral” (The Australian, August 31).

Cliche of the Week appears in The Australian newspaper Mondays. The usage of cliches in the media is tracked across the world using Factiva and Dow Jones Insight.

 Chris Pash’s book, The Last Whale, a true story set in the 1970s, was published by Fremantle Press in 2008

Entry filed under: Cliche of The Week.

Cliche of the Week 61 – Informed Sources Cliche of the Week 63 – Outcomes

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