10 words and phrases to ban from your writing

Do you want your copy to sing? Then stop using these words and phrases and come up with more meaningful ways to communicate.

Consider yourself banned from using these in your writing:

1. Groundbreaking/ground breaking. To imply something is groundbreaking means that it is a first of something (e.g., Pasteur’s groundbreaking work in biology). Be honest with yourself—is your product really groundbreaking?

2. Synergy. A synergy occurs when two or more parties combined are greater than the sum of its parts. This word was cool … about seven years ago. Find a new word.

3. Thinking outside of the box. This is a cliché that refuses to die in the business world. Pull the plug.

4. For all intents and purposes. This statement means in a practical sense. It’s meaningless and wastes space. Only use words/phrases that add value to your message.

To read the full story, log in.
Become a Ragan Insider member to read this article and all other archived content.
Sign up today

Already a member? Log in here.
Learn more about Ragan Insider.