Cliche of the Week 96 – Recent Memory

June 18, 2012 at 6:00 pm 1 comment

The worst, the most brutal, the youngest, the oldest, the biggest and the most horrific all happen in a timeframe described as in recent memory.

This is a cover-all phrase to disguise the fact that no one can recall, or be bothered to check, exactly how long ago a similar event occurred.

This inexact statement surfaces in the world up to 1200 times a month. It occurs mostly in the American press. However, it is sometimes seen in Britain and, to a lesser extent, in Australia.

“Goldman becomes the first foreign investment bank in recent memory to base its top regional banker in Beijing, as Hong Kong has historically served as the location of such a post.” (Reuters News, June 12)

“A lifeboat crew launched a daring rescue off the Suffolk coast in conditions described by one member as the worst in recent memory.” (East Anglian Daily Times, June 11)

“The kidnapping and death of Barbara J ‘Bobbie’ ‘ Bosworth, abducted from Springfield Mall in 2008, was one of the most horrific incidents in this region in recent memory.” (The Washington Post, June 10)

“In April, an Oregon business delegation attracted 73 companies, more than any other state group in recent memory, to a Tokyo seminar.” (The Oregonian, June 10)

Cliché of the Week appears in The Australian newspaper Mondays. Clichés in the media are 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.

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Entry filed under: Cliche of The Week. Tags: , , .

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1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. Tony  |  June 18, 2012 at 6:22 pm

    My recent memory is about a day ago … or what i did when i was three.

    Reply

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