Cut your clichés for clearer copy

Blue sky thinking outside the box to upsize low hanging fruit delivers a win:win scenario. What? Call it corporate-speak, jargon or gobbledegook, we are probably all guilty of slipping the occasional confusing business babble or cringeworthy cliché into our conversations and copy.

Although jargon can be criticised as a sign of lazy copy you sometimes just can’t help yourself. If a hackneyed phrase paints a clear picture that colleagues easily understand and helps convey important messages then carefully rationed use should be okay in business language. And you never know, clichés could help you climb the career ladder.

A good rule is to challenge yourself about what the word or phrase really means and ask whether you can say the same thing more clearly in a different way.

If you want to avoid the more obvious examples then check these, these and these. And if you want some fun trying out your own then the Plain English Campaign’s gobbledegook generator can help.

At the end of the day it’s not rocket science. Co-workers probably won’t mind a limited sprinkling of the stuff. However, most of us would probably prefer to be remembered for our positive contributions to business success rather than our catchphrase.

Our tip is to replace the traditional office swear box with a clichometer to penalise the most over-used examples. It’s a big ask but by the close of play you could have a tidy sum to donate to charity.

Comments are closed.