He means business

I read the list of cliches and thought I’d offer a few business &
investment-related ones that I resent greatly. I’m in too “foul of a
mood” to think of clever ways to present them:

  • “the bottom line
  • as we speak
  • nobody rings a bell at the top
  • “it’s a cyclical bull move in a secular bear market

Thanks for listening…

Box this up and ship to Siberia

From Don Hewitt:

There are a number of expressions that really annoy me, both in the
media and everyday speech.

  • “Totally”– To add “totally” to something is redundant
    and ignorant. Can something be in worse condition than to be
    “destroyed?” Could someone be more than surprised? “Totally”
    surprised means…….?
  • “Win-Win” situations. What ever happened to “mutually beneficial?
  • “Thinking outside the box”– This has got to be one of the
    most ridiculous sayings ever concocted. Do people go sit in
    boxes to think? Ah, yes, maybe they sit in Kitty Litter Boxes.
    In that case, I would definitely “think outside the box.”
  • “Celebs” and a host of other moronic abbreviations. This
    oh so clever expression makes the user sound like an idiot.
    Trendy abbreviations communicate nothing more than that the
    one using them is so very up to date and clever. Belch.
  • “Goes” — an expression meaning movement away from an object
    or person. But it doesn’t mean “says”, as in “He goes, Well
    I did not know you were in town.” Duh. How about “He SAYS?”
  • Forward, march

    Rory Costello forwards the following:

    My nominee is going forward, a filler phrase that has pervaded
    the minds of everyone on Wall Street (always a lode of clunky jargon)
    and has crept into the business media too, especially CNNfn and Bloomberg.
    It’s implicit in almost any context in which it appears.Also, it seems as if the business media now insists on the unnecessary
    use of by with verbs and amounts: “the German market was
    up by 1.5%,” “raising interest rates by 25 basis points.”

    Cuts like a knife

    Tara Calishain offers

    I stumbled on your site while doing some research and
    enjoyed it, especially the Banned for Life section. I’m not a newsie
    (I’m a freelancie) but I would humbly suggest “cutting-edge
    as a phrase that needs to be retired.

    Make these extinct

    Rick Palkovic sends a few that were missed by previous contributors:

  • Literally: I’m hearing this used as an all-around intensifier,
    usually when the speaker means just its opposite: figuratively. I
    once heard political commentator say: “Congressional leaders
    literally held a gun to the President’s head!” Don’t we have
    laws against this sort of thing?
  • Et al: Everyone seems to be using this when they mean “etc.”
    They seem to think it sounds more intelligent. Better not to use either,
    of course, but use “et al.” for people; “etc.”
    for things.
  • World-class: A term favored by PR flacks when a more accurate
    description is usually “barely competent.”
  • Endangered species: When all the loggers in the Northwest
    lose their jobs, they just have to find other jobs — they aren’t
    dead, and neither are their relatives, much less the whole human race.
    Casual metaphoric use of this phrase trivializes the enormity of driving
    a species into extinction.
  • She feels our pain

    Jennifer Bulat sent these pained sentiments along:

    I’m a copy editor until I die; few I work with understand my perverse love of editing. Here are my pet peeves:

  • kicked off“: Meetings no longer can begin; they
    have to be “kicked off” by a rousing speech from a congressman
    or some other talking head. This phrase should be confined to football.
  • corporate-speak seeping into the lexicon: People aren’t busy anymore;
    they have “a lot on their plate.” They don’t talk,
    they “have a conversation” about something or “communicate
    that to
    ” someone else. They don’t explain things to each
    other; they “make sure we’re all on the same page.”Aaaarrrrrrrggggggghhhhh. Make it stop.
  • Notes from an English teacher

    Anyone who says “the wave of the future” is clearly “mired
    in the past,” says retired English professor Helen H. Gordon, who
    defines a composition teacher as one who, for the love of good writing,
    reads more bad writing than she’d ever have to read in any other occupation.
    The Professor submits these choice annoyances:

  • “the bottom line”
  • “blow-by-blow description”
  • “last but not least”
  • “unsung hero”
  • “couldn’t care less” (or erroneously, “could care
  • “man’s best friend”
  • “sacred cow”
  • “whose ox is being gored”
  • “man (or woman) who needs no introduction”
  • They’ve got ’em in India too

    Sidharth Bhatia sends these fresh (stale?) from the Asian Subcontinent:

    I chanced upon your excellent site and enjoyed all the cliches. In
    India, we suffer from the hangovers of the archaic English left back
    by our erstwhile colonial masters, the Brits. While they have moved
    on, we stick to Ye Olde hackneyed English. And of course, our hacks
    have also developed their own peculiar phrases. Some examples:

  • The detenus flew the coop
  • Ministers air-dashed to the capital (they never fly, always airdash)
  • A favourite with ponderous edit writers: Needless to say (then don’t
    say it)
  • It ill behoves us
  • Culprits nabbed (a very common headline)There are many more, but let me conclude with this story of the editorial
    writer who was summoned by his boss and told to write 600 words on some
    matter of grave importance. At about 5 p.m., when there was no sign
    of the editorial, the Big man himself went to his junior’s cabin and
    found him lying slumped on his typewriter (those were the days before
    PCs), quite dead. On the sheet in the typewriter there was just one
  • “Notwithstanding… “