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Words That Can Drive Your Listeners Nuts

Posted Oct 14 2008 4:14am

Don't Say Any of These to Them

It didn't take long for concerned business citizens to register their displeasure at commonly-used language that makes them crazy:

  • If I'm honest.... (?? aren't you always?)
  • If you would ask me... (you know I'm going to tell you either the bl**dy obvious anyway, be very negative or think I know it all)  Karin at Keeping It SimpleFrustratedwoman_2

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  • the use of words like "awesome" used to describe something quite normal. And horrific - come on, most of us thankfully will never experience "horrific" in our lives Jackie Cameron: Awareness, Choice, Change

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  • I notice the political candidates saying "Listen..." as the intro to whatever they are going to say. Seems a bit odd to me b/c wasn't I already listening? Also I believe that whenever I ask a question and get an answer "that's a good question" it means that the person does not know the answer and is stalling for time. Meg Bear at Talented Apps

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  • My personal pet peeve is "leverage". As in, "Is there any pre-existing research we can leverage?". If you mean "use", just say it. From Emily.

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  • Off the top of my head, I hate "task" as a verb: "I've been tasked with figuring out the rentable square footage...." "Paradigm" also makes me ill.  Tossed in by our favorite architect, Mile High Pixie.

By all means, keep adding to the list. Tell us why your crazy-making word or phrase makes you crazy. If I get enough real-life examples I'll create a downloadable eBook with, of course, attribution. Wouldn't you like the world to know what not to say to you?!

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