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Comments

Karin H.

If I'm honest.... (?? aren't you always?)

If you would ask me... (you know I'm going to tell you either the bl**dy obvious anyway, be very negative or think I know it all)

Karin H. (Keep It Simple Sweetheart, specially in business - or is the Kiss principle becoming invisible too?!?)

Lao

The phrase 'going forward' can be useful for reorienting people who are focusing on the past. I have used the phrase to cut through useless blaming and get back on track.

Steve Roesler

Karin,

The second example is a new and welcome addition.

Steve Roesler

Lao,

That's a well thought-out and purposeful use of the phrase. It makes sense in that context and has a practical use.

peter vajda

most anything with "quantum"...
and the misuse/bastardization of "sustainable"...

Joe Raasch

Hi Steve,

"In terms of"

"Quality"

"Granular"

Sigh.

Joe

Steve Roesler

Joe,

Granular is the one that puts me on total overload. It's a phrase best viewed from 30,000 feet.

Jackie Cameron

I love this thread Steve. I wrote about the use of words like "awesome" used to describe something quite normal. And horrific - come on, most of us thankfully will never experience "horrific" in our lives. And crisis - yes there is a crisis now - putting perspective on all those previous crises...Let's keep extreme words for extreme situations and preserve their value!
Rant over

Meg Bear

I notice the political candidates saying "Listen..." as the intro to whatever they are going to say. Seems a bit odd to me b/c wasn't I already listening? Also I believe that whenever I ask a question and get an answer "that's a good question" it means that the person does not know the answer and is stalling for time.

Emily

My personal pet peeve is "leverage". As in, "Is there any pre-existing research we can leverage?". If you mean "use", just say it.

Mile High Pixie

Off the top of my head, I hate "task" as a verb: "I've been tasked with figuring out the rentable square footage...." "Paradigm" also makes me ill.

This isn't words, per se, but I'm weary of presenters just reading their slides. I'm an adult with a Master's degree, bub; I can read fine. You need to tell me things that aren't on the slide, or take more off the slide so you can tell it to me yourself. Your words mean nothing if they're really just your notes that we're reading at the same time.

Steve Roesler

Jackie,

I'm sure with you on this one.

I confess, when I hear someone continually use over-statement to describe anything, that person's credibility drops a bit with me. The exception: If it turns out that the product/service actually is *awesome*. Sadly, that doesn't happen very often.

Fortunately, few of us have experienced something genuinely *horrific*. But it makes a great lead-in sound bite or headline.

What we're really trying to get at here is the accurate use of language in order to support one's credibility and impact over the long run. There is a distinct difference between attention grabbers and credibility builders, eh?

Steve Roesler

Meg,

I never thought about "That's a good question" in that way before.

Some years ago I was working on a political campaign here in NJ as the PR guy for a candidate. One of his other advisors suggested that he (the candidate) respond to every question with "That's a good question," the psychology allegedly being that it would affirm the questioner. Well, in an hour-long Q&A, you can imagine how patronizing that sounded. Use it once with a really good question and it's honest; use it multiple times (especially with some really stupid questions) and credibility plummets.

I really appreciate it when people just say what they mean. It would seem to me that others feel the same way.

Steve Roesler

Emily,

I am thinking about leveraging your comment into an entire post.

Do you mind if I use it?

Steve Roesler

Dear MHP,

I have a dilemma. I can't figure out whether it's best to greet you as MHP, Mile High, or Pixie. The relational part of me needs to know:-)

In grad school we actually got dinged by one prof if we turned a noun into a verb. It was great training and brought me to the same place as you. Now, when I hear a noun-turned-verb (I think we should call them "nerbs"), my antennae go up and I get all freaky. Some have accused me of being a pompous linguisto-dork (PLD). I have been accused of worse, so I wear it as a badge of honor.

Clearly, they need to shift their verbal paradigms.

As for the state of state-of-the-art (another one that sends up a flag) presentations, I have a post half-written on that phenomenon which I'll click and publish shortly. One sometimes wonders why presenters don't simply send their verbose slides in an email and tell people to contact them if they have any questions.

Argh.

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