Journalists seem to be growing increasingly fond of tracking the popularity of celebrities and trends by searching through Nexis, an on-line database of magazine and newspaper articles, and reporting how often certain words and names turn up.

Just how popular has this trend become? A Nexis search reveals that Nexis searches were cited in some 264 articles in 1994. That figure doesn't include articles about Nexis's ownership, which changed last year, or articles about on-line searching.

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