Have Some Words Become Meaningless?

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WordsWords: The driving force behind the public relations industry. But when do they become overused and how do we recognize when this is happening? Lucky for us, PR Daily likes to keep us informed about things like this! And just recently, they published an article called “Words you should excise from your writing in 2018.”

Have you ever said a word over and over in your head and it begins to lose meaning? This is essentially what they’re getting at in this article. They’ve identified the words that have become so overused that there is no longer anything compelling about them. Here are some that I, too, find to be worn out:

  • Cutting edge
  • Game changer
  • Deep dive
  • Revolutionary
  • Unique

The last one especially hits home. When trying to promote a brand in this day and, please avoid using the word “unique.” It truly has become such a commonplace term that it no longer possess the ability to garner the volume of engagement and attention that your campaign needs.

In addition to this, the article also lists verbs that indicate laziness, contrived words and “crutch” words and filler phrases.

This last list is one that I know I tend to overuse. It’s so easy to fill your emails with phrases like: “As you may already know”; “Given the fact that”; “Needless to say”; and “In the event that.” I think these also tend to be overused because they cater to a more passive voice, which is yet another element of my writing that I need to actively work past.

That said (ooh, there’s another!), if one of your  New Year’s resolutions is to sharpen your writing and editing skills, work at eliminating some of these unnecessary words and phrases that only end up clogging your writing.

Are there any other words that you think deserve the boot? If so, feel free to share below!

Breanne Krager
Breanne Krager
A former HMA Public Relations employee.

1 Comment

  1. Jim Bianchi says:

    Bre – a few other words that have become so overused that they have lost their true meaning: epic and iconic.

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