Blog - it's dead good

On words – the good, the bad and the ugly

by | Jan 18, 2019 | Communications, Content, Copywriting, Jargon, Language | 0 comments

I love words, I really do. I don’t do this just because I wasn’t any good at anything else!

I like words in books and songs. I like words in other languages and sometimes I like making words up. For example, levabevamevamemonade. Which is of course lemonade. It’s an in-joke between me and a four-year-old who struggled to say lemonade and came up with his own version which kind of stuck and makes us both laugh.

I like the way language evolves and we get new words and phrases to play with. But, there are some words that get so overused they lose all meaning and/or grate, like an overplayed song.

Hackneyed is the word for these words and phrases and I wanted to share some that grate on me, and why.

Banter – once the preserve of light-hearted joking around between mates, now an excuse for offensive comments.

Pain points – makes me ache all over.

Battling cancer – assumes a fight and if you don’t win you didn’t put up a good enough fight.

At this difficult time – superfluous.

Deployed – you in the army?

Agile – what, why?

Disrupting – waaaay overused.

Fast paced – I read it as chaotic.

Trope – don’t know why, I just don’t like it.

Meme – no one can pronounce it.

Woke – it’s a bit aggressive in my opinion.

Leverage – leave it out.

Triggered – constantly being used incorrectly and as an insult.

TERF – I have never seen this being used as anything but a slur.

Snowflake – beautiful natural thing, beautiful word, hijacked into something else entirely.

Utilise – use?

Anything Piers Morgan says.

I’m with AA Milne on this #WinnieThePoohDay
‘It is more fun to talk with someone who doesn’t use long, difficult words but rather short, easy words like “What about lunch?”’ ― A. A. Milne, Winnie-the-Pooh

Do you have words that grate like an overplayed Adele song?


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