Hyperbole alert: You’re about to read an ‘exciting’ article!

Does ‘exciting’ prompt you to click on a story or do your eyes glaze over?

Exciting. It’s the lazy marketer’s favorite word.

A quick search for this common hyperbole in my inbox returned the following examples of distinctly unexciting news and offers.

Think of them next time you’re tempted to draw on this overused, overblown adjective. If there’s a chance your reader won’t really be trembling in anticipation, choose a different word.

1. A networking lunch featuring as a guest speaker a “best-selling author of over 30 books covering a wide variety of beauty, health and lifestyle issues.”

I’m an introvert. I hate talking to strangers, let alone with the sole purpose of bigging up my business. So if by exciting, you meant excruciating, then your networking event is suitably billed.

However, I can think of nothing duller than listening to some halfwit blather on, over mediocre food, about “beauty, health and lifestyle issues.”

What is a “lifestyle issue” anyway?

2. Additions to the new exercise timetable at my local gym.

Exercise: the only thing I find more excruciating than networking (and duller than discussions of “lifestyle issues”).

3. A series of debates about “real food”.

Hmm. Not sure what’s meant by “real food,” but it sounds suspiciously like a “lifestyle issue” to me.

4. The news that an organization had recently become “the proud winners of the Clean City Platinum Award!”

Exciting to you, possibly, if you were the one who wrote the award submission and you’re keen to impress your boss.

But utterly irrelevant to me. Oh, and, by the way, your use of the ellipsis in a bid to make your email sound even more “exciting…” won’t change my mind.

5. A job as deputy editor of Trucking magazine, which is “an opportunity to become part of a team that is passionate about the road transport industry.”

I suppose it’s just about possible I might one day be so desperate for work I’ll have to pretend I’m excited by the prospect of being second in command for a group of slightly geekier, less-successful Jeremy Clarksons.

6. The opportunity to work on a “brand new monthly dental journal.”

That’s more like it: a chance to use my writing skills to indulge my secret passion for researching the causes of gingivitis and tracking the latest developments in dental implant surgery.

At least, that’s what I’ll be saying in the interview if it means I don’t have to take the job with the sub-Jeremy Clarksons.

7. A new sofa made by someone you might have heard of if you’re vaguely interested in designer furniture.

Which I’m not.

8. The online community for a British tabloid newspaper.

Bigoted? Yes. Illiterate? Yes.

Exciting? Beyond raising my blood pressure a few points? Not really.

9. The news that I can upgrade my standard ticket to a premium ticket for just £10.

I’m so excited to have the chance to give you 10 more of my hard-earned pounds.

10. The news that some company or other “will focus solely on its core business as the global leader” in something and that one bit of it has been “rebranded as a separate business.”

Core business blah blah global leader blah blah blah rebranding blah

Clare Lynch is chief business writer and trainer at Doris and Bertie , a U.K. communications agency that helps businesspeople ditch corporate-speak and talk like human beings.

COMMENT

Ragan.com Daily Headlines

Sign up to receive the latest articles from Ragan.com directly in your inbox.