As events unfold and the leadership candidates' platforms are unveiled at this defining moment in the history of the Tory party, a window of opportunity presents itself to detect tomorrow's potential cliches.

The table reveals the results of a database search for occurrences of certain phrases, comparing their frequencies in the first six months of 1994 with the times they have been sighted so far this year.

The results reveal "defining moment" to be the phrase of the year so far, with an almost threefold increase. While "events unfold" has registered a 150 per cent rise on last year, the overall figures are too small to claim a definite trend.

The plans, manifestos and proposals unveiled so far this year are also well up on the unveilings of the first half of 1994.

We hope to continue monitoring the cliches of tomorrow and welcome readers' suggestions for phrases to keep an eye on. Contributions should be sent to: Feedback, the Independent, 1 Canada Sq, Canary Wharf, London E14 5DL.

cliche count

phrase '94 '95

defining moment 11 32

events unfold 4 10

unveiled 186 249