SplatF’s List Of Banned Words
Clarity is important to me. (Well, it’s no. 7 on my list of 10 steps to better writing.) I don’t expect everyone to understand everything on this site — some level of business and technical fluency is probably necessary — but I consciously try to avoid jargon, clichés, and business-speak.
Anyway, this “Bizspeak Blacklist” by Bryan A. Garner at Harvard Business Review is pretty great. I already avoid almost all of these terms, such as “core competency” and “impactful” and “at the end of the day”. (Although I have a personal fondness for “paradigm shift” after reading Thomas S. Kuhn’s Structure of Scientific Revolutions twice in 2000, during a weird part of my life.)
But I’d like to add a few more:
- “bullish” and “bearish” (Tired, obscure.)
- “latest and greatest”
- “value proposition”
- “lifestyle business” (Easy way to sound like a jerk.)
- “it is what it is”
- “tipping point”
- “hockey stick” (Referring to growth.)
- “killer app”
- “remains to be seen” (Though I probably say “We’ll see” and “Who knows” too much.)
I won’t pretend I’m perfect, but please yell at me if I write any of these. And I’m sure I’ll be adding to this list over time.
Related: 10 Steps To Better Writing