10 Business Cliches to Avoid
Cliches abound in the business world. The Business on RTE pokes fun at business people’s reliance on jargon to get their message across. The linguistic laziness of business and public figures is also examined in Jeremy Butterfield’s book, Damp Squid, The English Language Laid Bare.
Why are business people so reliant on clichés? After all, they’re smart, they know their business and they develop brilliant concepts on a regular basis. The trouble is, clichés have a habit of being true. They’re also a handy crutch when you’re groping for a word in a pressurised situation.
It’s time to throw your crutches away. Here’s a list of the 10 most common cliches, along with some alternatives you can use to communicate your message in a fresh way.
1. Going forward – Going forward where, I always wonder. Alternative: in the future, in the coming months,
2. Blue sky thinking. Alternative: Why not just say innovative or creative thinking.
3. Synergy A plastic substitute for real connection between businesses. Alternatives: connection, link, chemistry
4. 24/7 Alternative: all the hours God sends. May be more unwieldy, but implies dedication. Also more accurate. No one actually works 24 hours a day.
5. At the end of the day. Alternative: Ultimately, in the end
6. Park the Issue. Alternative: Make this a more positive statement by saying, ‘Let’s return to this at a later date.’
7. On the Same Page. Alternative: on the same wavelength, in agreement
8. Get all our ducks in a row. Alternative: line up our options.
9. With all due respect. Alternative: None. This is a sneaky phrase, a false attempt to soften the blow. If you feel a need to make your point, go straight for the jugular.
10. Levels the playing field. Alternative: creates balance, evens things out
Feel free to add your own clichés and alternatives. I look forward to hearing your thoughts.