Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Phrases to Kick to the Curb

I was listening to the radio while driving back to work today -- seriously, one day off in the middle of the week is a tease - nice, but a total tease! But, I digress...let's start again...

I was listening to WZLX this morning where the morning crew was in the middle of talking about words that should stop being used because they are basically "over done". Some they came up with are:
"don't even go there"
"at the end of the day"
"all said" (the guy who called in with this one rightfully said that this doesn't even make sense)
"sweet" (when not used in reference to candy or cookies)

I can see that. Reminded me of a piece by Sarah McAdams that I read on recently about the 12 top mistakes in corporate writing. Yes, I've made a few - you have to, don't think you haven't. It was an eye opening list.

At the end of the article she has a list of annoying jargon and overused phrases which had me nodding my head. We all hear them....might even say them ourselves, but when they are there in black and white it makes it seem a little more..well, silly. Here are a few of my favorites (comments are mine):
"Take this offline" (um, we are all sitting in a conference room, we aren't 'online')
"Circle back" (what happened to old fashioned, we'll get back to this in a minute, or an hour, or never)
"Circle the Wagons" (little too old fashioned, maybe? We aren't on the Little House on the Praire)
"Out of pocket" (makes me think of James Bond...007 is out of pocket catching the bad guys)
"Table that"
"Loop you in"
"Net-net" (must admit, I'd never heard this before)
"In the weeds"

And that's just the short list. It was interesting to read and know that other people think these are overused and, maybe even inappropriately used.

For marketing and PR folks it should make you think that these are phrases not to use in the new year. They are over used, over done, whatever you'd like to call them, but people don't want to hear them any more. That means that the people you want to get your message out to or people you want to create a community with certainly don't want to hear these phrases. Let's get fresh ones - ones that make sense - ones that don't include wagons, please.

We are creative people. We can come up with a whole new list that will be over used by December, 2008, right? Think about it. Let me know what you come up with.

And, while we are at it, what is your favorite overused phrase? Do tell.

Just a rambling tidbit for today. Thanks for stopping by.