Boilerplate vs Cliche

A boilerplate is most often a piece of writing that is meant to try and convince the reader of something. It is vague and can be applied to many different situations. When looking for good examples of boilerplates on the internet I found this excerpt from an article promoting a chemical producer that reads:

“BASF is the world’s leading chemical company: The Chemical Company. Its portfolio ranges from chemicals, plastics and performance products to agricultural products, fine chemicals as well as oil and gas. As a reliable partner BASF creates chemistry to help its customers in virtually all industries to be more successful.”

This brief excerpt is practically all examples of boilerplates. “World’s leading company”…”ranges from”…”reliable partner”…”virtually all industries to be more successful.” These are phrases that are seen in commercials, articles, newspapers, and all over the media to convince the consumer of a brand or product.

A cliche is different than a boilermaker. A cliche isn’t meant to convince you of anything necessarily, it is just a plain, overused phrase. I remember a few seasons ago my favorite football team, The New England Patriots were struggling to begin the season. They started 2-2 and their offense was nonexistent. The media was blowing this story up as the demise of the Patriots. Bill Belichick, the head coach of the Patriots took the podium that week for his press conference, and got asked heavy questions – and he proceeded to answer every question with – “We’re on to Cincinnati.” No matter what the media asked him he responded with the exact same phrase. He wasn’t trying to convince anyone of anything, everyone already knew the Cincinnati Bengals were the next team the Patriots had on their schedule, but he still used the phrase over and over again.

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