A higher-up at Ragan had seen the word “supercharge” once too often in Ragan promotions. The exec prohibited its use in our copy.
This started a synergistic conversation in our office: What other words and phrases should we ban?
If we forbade ourselves all superlatives, would we still be able to write our usual literate, persuasive appeals to our audience asking them to attend our conferences and workshops?
We decided to take it public. Why not ask Ragan followers for their most-despised words? Why not ask everybody? We did so, in the office, on HARO, at home.
The result: We’re digging ourselves out from an avalanche of detestation, hatred, vitriol, bile and nausea directed at cant words and phrases. See below for details. (See also my helpful, expert commentary on each of our readers’ responses.)
1. “Synergy.” If a prospective client uses synergy without irony, it’s a red flag on working with them. They’re being lazy.
— Karl Sakas, agency consultant, Sakas & Co.
Karl: Lazy prose is writing that doesn’t get its minimum daily requirement of irony.