Wage War on Clichés!

My favorite e-newsletter comes from Robert Deigh of RDC Communications/PR, LLC and author of “HowImage Come No One Knows About Us?”.    This month he has provided a list of some of the most frequently used — and irritating! — clichés that we see and hear every day from our fellow communicators.  I was relieved that I have fallen into the trap (gasp!) of using only a couple of the expressions on Rob’s list.

Let’s all check out his list and the reader-friendly alternatives he has provided and then clear them from our presentations, materials and web sites and return to the clear, direct language of which our audiences are more confident.


  • At the end of the day (ultimately)
  • Drill down (look for more detail)
  • Granular (more detailed)
  • Take it offline (talk after the meeting)
  • Best of breed (most successful)
  • No brainer (easy)
  • Brainchild (invention, idea)
  • Brain dump (briefing) 
  • Pick your brain (get your advice)
  • Rock Stars (Bruce and Sting are; Jack Welch and Bill Gates — successful as they may be — are not)
  • Get my head around (understand) 
  • Take it one day at a time (that’s how it works)
  • Close the loop (tell everyone involved)
  • Low-hanging fruit (easiest to accomplish)
  • Push the envelope (exceed limits)
  • Win-Win (mutually beneficial)
  • On the same page (agree)
  • Future plans (just “plans” – ALL plans are future)
  • Task force (working group)
  • Drink the Kool-Aid (this was part of a 1978 mass suicide; maybe time to retire this one?)
  • Currently (present tense is always implied unless you say otherwise)
  • Leading or cutting edge (innovative)
  • Mission critical (essential)
  • The perfect storm of…(the right conditions for)
  • Touch base (contact)
  • Crunch time (near deadline)
  • On their radar screen (we have their attention)
  • Slam dunk (see “No brainer”)
  • If you build it, they will come (there is demand)

What other clichéd expressions can you think of that you would like to see people drop?  Share them here!

About Kate Perrin

Kate Perrin is CEO of PRofessional Solutions, LLC, the Washington, DC area's only public relations temporary staffing firm. PRofessional Solutions, founded in 1994, was named one of the 25 largest staffing agencies in the metropolitan area in 2015 by the Washington Business Journal. It's also proud sponsor of Washington Women in Public Relations and the Public Relations Society of America's National Capital Chapter.
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1 Response to Wage War on Clichés!

  1. Pingback: 5 Tips for Successful PR Writing | PRofessional Solutions, LLC

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