Corporate Speak is Punishable By Death: Part 1

October 17, 2008

If you've visited the Brilliant Ink website, you may have seen reference to 10 words and phrases we've pledged never to use when developing communications materials for our clients. "Never" is a strong word, and I don't mean to imply that we're inflexible. Instead, it reflects our belief that words have power and meaning, and relying on trite sayings and meaningless corporate catchphrases means we're not working hard enough to tell a dynamic story.

Without further ado, we present the first five words and phrases to avoid like the plague (the remaining five will appear in the next blog posting):

This is number one on the list for multiple reasons. First, every version of this word is grossly overused. Second, "impacted" literally refers to a tooth being wedged into the jaw. Unless you work in dentistry, you probably don't have many reasons to talk about teeth. Third, "impactful" doesn't even appear in most dictionaries. All great reasons to strike them from your vocabulary.

If something's important at the end of the day, it should also be important at the beginning of the day, in the middle of the night, or any other time. Besides, has anyone seen the musical "Les Miserables?" Every time I hear this phrase I want to

When corporate speak turns into a slogan for fast food, you know you're in trouble. What the heck is "in the box" thinking, anyway? And unless you're a cardboard or shipping company, what do boxes have to do with your business?

There's nothing inherently wrong with this word, it's just overused. Let's not contribute to any more overuse.

Want to kill all creative thinking at your next meeting? Tell everyone you're having an "ideation session." That should do the trick.

To be continued. In the meantime, check out this article for more fun and ridiculous corporate speak:

Liz Kelly

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