Words and Phrases You Should Avoid
If you look around the Web you’ll find many sites that tell you how to write, what to write, when to write and what words to use. It’s much tougher to find sites that tell you which words and phrases to avoid. What follows is a list of my favorites, words to avoid that is.
Core of my being – If you run across this in written form just click the back button or close the book. If you actually hear the phrase spoken aloud you need to exit the coffee shop immediately and make sure the woman wearing the Sylvia Plath tee isn’t following you.
Think outside the box – If you can’t think of another phrase to use then you should be stuffed inside a box because you’re brain dead.
Quantum leap – Unless you’re a physicist you should avoid the word ‘quantum’ period.
Paradigm shift – Finding a new way to shaft the consumer is not a paradigm shift. That’s business as usual. If you actually encounter a paradigm shift, feel free to use the term.
Granular – If someone says a report needs to be more granular, don’t hesitate, kick them in the balls. Hard. Granular is a word used by corporate weenies because they think it makes them sound more intelligent.
Confidence is high – If you’ve ever used that in a sentence you were high.
Manage expectations – What that really means is “we don’t know if this will work so let’s make sure if we fail we can say that we expected it might fail”. Say what you mean. Let people manage their own expectations.
Credibility gap – Political speak for calling a group a bunch of goddamn liars. Why group? Because there’s no such thing as an individual act in politics. If you don’t trust someone, say so, lest your readers identify a ‘credibility gap’ between you and them.
Less than stellar – As in Keanu Reeves’ less than stellar performance in, well, everything he’s ever been in. Just say it sucked.
Critical mass – Again, unless you’re a physicist, stay away from their lingo. This one is most often used to mean ‘self-sustaining’ so why not just write ‘self-sustaining’.
Irregardless – WTF? I still don’t know what that non-word is intended to mean. Just don’t use it.
Bellwether – Used to refer to leaders or indicators. Doesn’t anyone know that a wether is a castrated sheep? I’m not following the guy with no balls, especially if he’s wearing a bell…