Top 10 Most Irritating Phrases In PR

Confused guyOxford University recently compiled its list of “top ten irritating phrases,” as reported by The Telegraph (side note: 2703 comments at time of writing!):

  1. At the end of the day
  2. Fairly unique
  3. I personally
  4. At this moment in time
  5. With all due respect
  6. Absolutely
  7. It’s a nightmare
  8. Shouldn’t of
  9. 24/7
  10. It’s not rocket science

It’s true – every one of those phrases is over-used and irritating.

I’d like to add my own top ten from the world of horrendous PR (this is separate, though related, to my little rant about clear writing a little while back). Many of these are just unnecessary adjectives that serve no real function. They’re often used in conjunction with each other for extra horrendousness:

  1. Moving forward
  2. Cutting-edge
  3. Leverage (it’s not a verb, people!)
  4. Viral video/marketing
  5. Utilize
  6. Cost-effective
  7. Innovative
  8. Value-added
  9. Forward-thinking
  10. [insert word here] 2.0

What would you add to the list?

Dave Fleet
Managing Director and Head of Global Digital Crisis at Edelman. Husband and dad of two. Cycling nut; bookworm; videogamer; Britnadian. Opinions are mine, not my employer's.