As a connoisseur of words, I have a complaint to lodge against the students and business people of America. As the most egregious offenders of repetitive catch phrases and assorted drivel, I implore you: Please remove these 13 terms from your vocabulary, STAT.
1. Amaaaaazzzzinnnggg. Also stated “amazing,” this word is over and ill-used. Pasta and chow mein and free pizza at the union are not “amazing.” According to my dictionary, the word means to astonish, to affect with great wonder or to bewilder. I really doubt chow mein’s great powers to do this.
2. AWESOME! Currently being scrubbed from my vernacular except for cheeky references to Eddie Izzard, the day to day is not “awesome” which means excellent, outstanding or to inspire awe. For clarification and to understand my favorite phrase “Awesome like a hot dog,” check out Mr. Izzard in action.
3. Classic win-win. Is everything really classic?
4. Dovetail. As in an idea, product or service that “will dovetail nicely,” I hear this out-of-place furniture reference far too often.
5. Guru. Roughly meaning “darkness and light” in Sanskrit, guru is a special word that has no business being applied to every business consultant who comes along e.g., social media guru, finance guru, etc.
6. Like. The bane of all speech teachers across the country, if I hear “I like totally love [insert topic]” one more time, I may lose it. Realization is the first step to recovery people… if you say “like” every other word, you sound like an idiot. I will not sugar coat this.
7. Umm. Almost as bad as like, umm is a poisonous verbal filler that will kill any speech, business presentation or important interaction. Want to banish it? PRACTICE YOUR SPEECH (for any students reading). Take a breath. Try pausing instead. Many umms are inserted where we need to think or remember something, so try just a moment of silence to collect your thoughts. Or insert a different, more meaningful transition word.
8. Cutting-edge/Leading-edge. Anything new in health care or technology is “cutting edge.” What does that even mean?? Find a new phrase!
9. Think outside of the box. Kind of an oldie, I want to scream every time I hear this.
10. Went above and beyond. Shortened by cutting out “the call of duty,” this phrase, while meaning well, has been over done. Surely if we think hard, we can find new terms to use for praising the good work of others, yes?
11. Synergy. Ever listen to a consultant? Any consultant. Buy their product (whatever it is) and achieve great synergy!!!! What is synergy, you ask? Really just collaboration for a better, more advantageous end result. (Teamwork!) But “synergy” just sounds more sexy.
12. You know/You know? A perennial speech favorite, students, you know, abuse these two words endlessly, you know?
13. Seriously?? I totally cop to this one and I blame Grey’s Anatomy. If not for Meredith and Christina, I couldn’t carry on an entire conversation with one word. Seriously? Seriously.
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