Words to avoid

Desk side. Also deskside, desk-side. If you want to come to my office, just say so.
Impact. Overused in general, unacceptable when “verbed.”
Irregardless. Non-word combination of “irrespective” and “regardless.”
Literally, in the non-literal sense. “She literally exploded with excitement.”
Optics, unless you are an opthamologist.
X and myself, e.g. “My colleague and myself are delighted to be here.” “I” or “me” is nearly always correct instead.

Which words would you like to banish from business writing?

12 Replies to “Words to avoid”

  1. Your list is great! I am glad to see impact, especially as a verb. I wish people would remember to use ‘who’ instead of ‘that’ when referring to a person instead of a thing. The person who…., not the person that…

  2. Hear, hear re: “literally.” I hate “utilize” instead of “use.” It’s not wrong, I just hate it.

    “Impact” as a verb is an interesting case. Lots of people strongly object, yet it is listed as a verb in my Merriam-Webster 10th edition. (The volume I am required to use when I edit books for MacMillan.) I’m not sure what to make of this.

  3. I also loathe “disconnect” used as a noun in lieu of “inconsistency” or “conflict” as in, “There is a disconnect between our company’s intellectual property policies and our goal of encouraging employee creativity.” Another pet peeve: “interface” in lieu of “cooordinate,” “collaborate,” “inform,” or “communicate” as in, “Please interface with the Marketing Department whenever you accept a public speaking engagement.”

  4. OK…Spare me “unique” (which of course relieves us of the chore of listening to ignorant discourse on things and events that are “very” unique, “most” unique, “truly” unique and the ever puzzling “somewhat” unique. It’s either unique or it ain’t…and most things that are not assembly line products like individual M&Ms can lay some claim to “uniqueness.”

    That being said, thank you Corporate Writer for your long overdue service to us poor writers. And I know poor writers…I are one.

  5. One more thing…people that don’t close parentheses and fail to proof their online postings to catch such errors (until its too late) really frosts my pumpkin.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *