Writers Sound Off on Most-Hated Journalistic Clichés


| 1/5/2009 11:24:46 AM


The National Conference of Editorial Writers recently released a list of their most-hated journalistic clichés, the mushy euphemisms and trendy phrases that they think ought to be banned. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch excerpted the survey, along with some of the editorialists’ biting commentary:

  • Issues and challenges: “No one has problems any more. We have ‘issues.’ Likewise, we have ‘challenges.’…Why isn’t that a ‘problem’?”
  • Faith-based: “Almost 100 percent of the time this phrase is used, the user means ‘religious,’ and they should just suck it up and use the real term.”
  • Declined comment: “We’re not inviting people to tea parties here. We’re asking questions....They didn’t ‘decline comment.’ They ‘would not comment.’”
  • Closure: “An appalling word that crept out from the woodwork of psychobabble where it squats, poisoning the language, above all in journalism.”

 (Thanks, Get Religion.)



Erik H._6
1/16/2009 3:15:37 PM

I guess this is more of a contemporary issue. But if I see the words, "In these tough economic times..." I'm going to... well probably do nothing - but still be frustrated. Also, anytime anyone uses the phrase "The center cannot hold." Barf.


Corrie
1/15/2009 2:21:44 PM

I have long hated "grow your business" - is it a pot plant? Why not just "improve" it or whatever is most appropriate within the context?


Luccia
1/15/2009 11:14:36 AM

I vote for anything and anyone in any circumstance "going forward." Also, boots or anything else "on the ground."




Pay Now Save $5!

Utne Summer 2016Want to gain a fresh perspective? Read stories that matter? Feel optimistic about the future? It's all here! Utne Reader offers provocative writing from diverse perspectives, insightful analysis of art and media, down-to-earth news and in-depth coverage of eye-opening issues that affect your life.

Save Even More Money By Paying NOW!

Pay now with a credit card and take advantage of our earth-friendly automatic renewal savings plan. You save an additional $5 and get 4 issues of Utne Reader for only $40.00 (USA only).

Or Bill Me Later and pay just $45 for 4 issues of Utne Reader!




Facebook Instagram Twitter