More Words And Phrases To Avoid

Can’t Hold A Candle To – Time to snuff that one. It means ‘inferior to’, but the days of linkboys carrying candles is long past and that particular idiom simply isn’t illuminating now.

Three Sheets To The Wind – Unless you know that a sheet is a rope and what the sheets were used for, this expression probably doesn’t make much sense period. Sheets were used to secure the sails, square-riggers often had three sheets available to secure the sails. An unsecured sail would definitely rock the boat in a wind, perhaps resembling the walk of someone that had too much drink. (Originally, three sheets in the wind)

Action Plan – More wind from corporate blowhards. Is there such a thing as an inaction plan?

Defensing – Often used by sports weenies. ‘He’s defensing the line’. Defending works just fine.

Cash on the Barrelhead – Unless you’re at a Cracker Barrel you’re unlikely to even see a barrel on which to place your cash, and Cracker Barrel takes Visa.

Pandemic – A newsy scare word. Pandemic just sounds worse than epidemic doesn’t it? We’ve already heard all about the Bird Flu pandemic and there hasn’t even been an epidemic yet.

Collectible – Most often used to trick buyers into believing that some piece of junk has value. Oh yes, those craptastic, plastic cutesy bears? Those are collectibles…

Holistic – As in, ‘We have a holistic corporate approach’. Yaright. Is that anything like the ‘holistic bean sprouts’ they sell in groceries now?

Retro – Another marketing gimmick. If it’s retro you can charge much more for it than if it’s simply ‘dated‘. Much like ‘antique’.

Progress Oriented – More corporate speak. Are there any companies out there that aren’t interested in progress? A euphemism for ‘profit-driven’.


  1. Kirby

    “for want of a nail”? That’s a new one for me.

    I figure if it makes people think, it’s intelligent.

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