8 words and phrases health care communicators should outlaw

One health care communicator takes our language to task, and makes some valid points along the way.

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You see them all the time. Predictable, cliché, meaningless words that just fill space. They’re in nine out of ten health care ads. As a writer, they drive me insane. Here’s an irritating eight we can all do without.

State of the art: What exactly does that mean? Whose state are we talking about? And what art is this that has a state?

Utilization: Whatever happened to plain, old-fashioned “use.” Perfectly good word. Three letters. Says the same thing. Think about it.

Innovation: What exactly is the innovation? Why can’t you tell me what it is? Do I have to guess? Are you afraid to let me know because I will be so amazed I will fling my clothes into the wind in wild abandon, run down the street naked, crying tears of joy and amazement?

Cutting edge: This one’s my favorite. Especially when it’s used to describe surgery. Can’t you just forget about giving me the adjective and give me the details? Grrrrrr.

Nationally renowned: Says who? What nation? What body of wisdom and all suck-up-to-it-ness did we impress? What does that have to do with little old me, who needs a hospital and doctor who understand what I need?

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