Canadian Consulting Engineer

Yuck! Did you really have to say that — again?

April 27, 2015

Practical Business Training, a U.S. company that provides employee and management training resources, has published a list of phrases it says business writers should avoid.

The list of “9 Cliches to Ban Forever” are overused expressions that should be dropped in favour of more straightforward language, says the company.

Here is their advice:

  1. “At the end of the day.” It’s just filler. Forget the phrase and get to the point.
    2. “Think outside the box.” A “Be creative” will suffice.
    3. “Push the envelope.” That’s just another way to say “Take risks.”
    4. “Don’t reinvent the wheel.” The phrase is vague. Offer more specific guidance about which aspects should stay the same and which ones should change.
    5. “The ball is in your court.” Enough with the sports analogies. Just say “The decision is yours to make.”
    6. “Work smarter, not harder.” Tell people how to be more efficient.
    7. “Low-hanging fruit.” It undermines the importance of your customers or goals by suggesting that some don’t require much effort. Treat all customers and business objectives with the same level of importance.
    8. “Failure is not an option.” Failure is always a possibility, and that phrase does nothing more than cause employees fear and anxiety.
    9. “Rome wasn’t built in a day.” An actual time estimation to launch a new initiative or make a change is much more useful.

What do CCE readers think? Don’t these and similar phrases add a drop of colour and life to otherwise bland and boring reports?

What hackneyed and overused expressions cause you to cringe?

To visit Practical Business Training, click here.




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