No predictions* from me, or resolutions, or goals – personal or professional. If I did would they be of interest to anyone but me? I’d wager that would be a hard no. But FYI I do still want a butterfly to land on my hand, and to have a ride in a tractor.

So, my opener for 2024 is words to avoid this year.

1. Top of the (my) list is obfuscation.

Obfuscation can be described as making something unclear or unintelligible.

Can you think of any examples? I have loads! Some Ts&Cs. Some website copy. Some product manuals. Some product descriptions. Some social media updates. Some marketing emails. 

There’s no excuse for obfuscation. It’s infuriating.

Avoid both the word and the thing.

2. I often tell prospects that I don’t do fluff & guff. I describe fluff and guff as stuff and nonsense. Fillers. Pointless and unnecessary verbiage. (Verbiage would also come under guff & fluff, meaning excessively lengthy). Short. Sweet. To the point.

3. Next up, can we all stop pivoting? I think pivot was a 2020 Covid/pandemic word, wasn’t it? I’m well aware that Covid is not over. I’ve just had it. But pivot is one of those words that’s so overused as to be almost meaningless so let’s all agree to drop it yes?

4. Not a word but a phrase…”reach out”. I have said this so so so many times but unless you are a member of The Four Tops, drop it.

Who knows where language will go this year and which big trends, ideas, and global and local issues will bring new words and phrases to the fore? No one, that’s who.

But in the business of business, you need to keep on top of trends and make your offering as clear as possible. And if you can’t – then hire a copywriter who can.

Clarity wins.

Whilst I was writing this I pivoted (ha) to my inbox as the latest The Knowledge landed.

The end quote though…

“Those who have knowledge, don’t predict. Those who predict, don’t have knowledge.”
Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu