Things everyone has to stop saying in 2014

In oral conversation or in written text, these corruptions are tainting our exchanges and, in some cases, dehumanizing our fellow professionals. Pluck out these verbal tics like ticks.

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Perhaps more than others, writers can fall into bad habits. (By writers, in this case, I mean anyone who puts his or her thoughts down in words.)

Words are everywhere, and many are strung together recklessly. People tend to pick up errant usages as easily as black velvet picks up lint.

The latest industry shorthand might meander out of an oral conversation in a conference room and into a blog post. Next thing you know, someone sees that verbal atrocity as a viable expression, and the cycle continues.

Such is the hazard of “writing like you talk.”

Here are a few of the more prevalent linguistic mutations that sentient beings should scrap in 2014:


These occur when humans’ (or other animals’) powers are attributed to inanimate objects or, worse, to concepts. Such constructions are everywhere—an outgrowth of attempts to make businesses more people-friendly.

This happens most often when a company is referred to, on a second or subsequent reference, as “they.” Regardless of whether you believe politically that “Corporations are people, my friend,” grammatically it just isn’t so.

Wrong: In April, XYZ Amalgamated had their biggest monthly loss since 2006.

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