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.

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?

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."

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