Grammar

6 Annoying Cliches I’m Glad I’ve Managed to Miss

I ran across an infographic full of cliches that should be immediately eliminated from your writing…and these I’d never even heard of!

At the end of the day. Move the needle. Get your ducks in a row.

There are certain cliches we’ve all heard so many times that we’re nearing the point of being ready to scream if we hear them just once more.

Even in the world of blogging, I feel that way about this one: “Content is king.”

Then there are a few others…strange little expressions some of us have never heard of. MarketingProfs.com published an infographic recently showing 50 of them that we should avoid like the plague. (See what I did there?)

I have to say I’m delighted to have made this far without ever hearing these little “gems.”

1. “Let’s open the kimono.”

I have never heard this one before, and if I ever do, I’m seriously going to stop the meeting and ridicule it. If you’ve never heard it — and I hope you haven’t — it means to “reveal” something. Sounds like a pervert’s idea for a cliche to me.

2. “I don’t have the bandwidth.”

Really? I mean, really? When you have to turn yourself into an annoyingly-slow internet connection just to express the notion that you have — pardon another cliche — “a full plate,” you deserve to be “taken offline” for a while.

3. “We’re cascading relevant information.”

If someone I worked with ever told me this, which essentially means, “I’m having conversations with the appropriate people about this issue,” I might have to smack them. Who talks that way? More importantly, who thinks that’s actually clever?

4. “We need a helicopter view.”

No, this does not mean that one needs to put in a phone call to rent a chopper. It refers to a look at “the big picture,” taking a broad look at the whole plan rather than focusing on the small details.

5. “That isn’t part of the strategic staircase.”

I’ve certainly heard of a business plan, and even the more dramatic-sounding “action plan.” A “strategic staircase,” presumably, assumes that each step takes you a step higher, building success after success. If I were forced to follow someone up a “strategic staircase,” I might well be tempted to push them down the stairs once we reached the top.

6. “Could you get back to me by the close of play?”

This one refers to the end of the day, the close of the business day. If someone asks for something by “the close of play,” that means by that day’s quitting time. Maybe they’re having a little too much “fun” at work. Maybe they need more work to do themselves. Maybe they’re the ones who need to get that little project done by their own “close of play.” By the way, most office employees would easily recognize COB as “close of business,” which requires just three little well-understood letters and avoids the risk of your memo’s recipient laughing at you.

What are some of the most annoying cliches you’ve ever heard?

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Patrick is a Christian with more than 28 years experience in professional writing, producing and marketing. His professional background also includes social media, reporting for broadcast television and the web, directing, videography and photography. He enjoys getting to know people over coffee and spending time with his dog.