Time to cut out these cliches

Morgana at Best Room in the House forwards to me today a list of some of the world’s most annoying jargon. Maybe you’ve already had it e-mailed to you. If not, here it is, for your reading pleasure.

  • 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 coffeeshop you’re in 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, you should be stuffed in a box.
  • Quantum leap — Unless you’re a physicist, 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, just kick them in the balls. 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 this really means is, “we don’t know if this will work, so let’s make sure that if we fail, we can say that we expected this might fail.” Just say what you mean. Let people manage their own expectations.
  • Credibility gap — Political speak for calling a group a bunch of goddamn liars.
  • Less than stellar — As in, “Keanu Reeves’ less-than-stellar performance in, well, everything he’s ever been in.” Just say his performance sucked.
  • Critical mass — Again, unless you’re a physicist, stay away from their lingo.
  • Irregardless — WTF? I still don’t know what that non-word is intended to mean. Just don’t use it.

In any case, I needn’t tell you that your writing shouldn’t include any of these tired old cliches.


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