10 Words and Phrases to Remove From Your Lexicon Today


This week NASDAQ and Ragan Communications released a white paper titled “What Journalists Want” that serves as an overview of current trends in media relations.

We’ll cover the full paper later, but for now we’ll review the section closest to our hearts: a jargon-filled listicle!

The full list of 20, compiled at some undisclosed point in the past by MichaelSmartPR founder Michael Smart and former New York Times tech writer David Pogue, still rings true–though we do wonder how often some of these phrases see use in real-life press releases.

(Note: we realize that this list may have appeared on the interwebs in other forms in the past, so we will simply offer our own responses to our 10 favorite timeless examples.)

  • Landmark: It’s a solid theater chain, but you’ll have to excuse us if the act of equating your business with a “historical or notable site” strikes us as…overeager.
  • Revolutionary: Egypt experienced a revolution; the business world simply goes through your standard ho-hum “paradigm shift.”
  • Groundbreaking: Was there a shovel involved? Didn’t think so.
  • Breakthrough: OK, now describe the surface you disrupted…
  • Turnkey: This is a tough one to replace for your B2B audience, but if you really want to throw them for a loop, try “ready to wear.” (Just kidding. Don’t do that.)
  • Cutting edge: It’s 90’s movie trivia night at your local bar again, isn’t it? Oh, but what a decade it was!
  • Best of breed: God may love a terrier, but this analogy is lazier than your average basset hound.
  • Sumptuous: Unless you’re describing King Joffrey’s wedding banquet, this one is best left to dessert blogs and jazz vocal reviews.
  • Breathtaking: An unfortunate classic rendered meaningless except when used to remind us that Tom Cruise owned the 80’s.
  • World-renowned: If you have to say it, then it literally can’t be true.

That’s it for now, but we’ll be here for your next episode of “Overused Words With No Obvious Synonyms.”

Until then, consult your handy digital thesaurus.

@PatrickCoffee patrick.coffee@adweek.com Patrick Coffee is a senior editor for Adweek.
Publish date: April 25, 2014 https://dev.adweek.com/digital/10-words-and-phrases-to-remove-from-your-lexicon-today/ © 2020 Adweek, LLC. - All Rights Reserved and NOT FOR REPRINT