Monday, March 2, 2015

Avoid Cliches Like The Plague IV (Not Really Cliches)

As I continue this never ending struggle to eradicate clichés from our language, it was recently brought to my attention that little quirky sayings that aren't necessarily clichés can be just as annoying. So I thought I put a few of those out here.

"To make a long story short..." --- This is one The Boss pointed out to me. I hadn't noticed quite how much people use it, but once I became aware of it, I was amazed at the number of people who use it. But in the spirit of full-disclosure, she pointed out that *I* was the one who over used. When telling stories, I tend to get a bit long-winded. Once I realize that I'm going long, I say, "To make a long story short..." at which point The Boss usually mumbles something like, "Too late" before her eyes glaze over.

"Reach out..." --- People use this phrase instead of the word "contact." I have no idea why. An argument can be made that there is a subtle difference, but honestly, the small difference is usually negated by its overuse. All I can say is, everyone... stop it.

"Shore up" --- What does this mean? It's been used so much in so many different situations, that it's pretty much lost any clear definition. Sometimes people use it instead of "correct" but even then my advice is to use a more accurate description and drop this overused, vague word from your vocabulary.

There are more phrases, and every few months on business or speaking websites, various authors will post a list of their top ten, usually compiled by talking to various employment experts and motivational speakers. You know, the same people who use words like "synergy" and value-add."

Until Next Time...
Utilizely Yours,

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