Words and Phrases We Love to Hate

Words and Phrases We Love to Hate

Are there words or phrases you have grown to hate but still use? I know I am cognizant of them, but unfortunately, I am still using some. I often talk about the major “paradigm shift” from philanthropic fund raising to sponsorship revenue generation.

How about the fact that we now have to “unpack” everything? When the heck did that start? Between speakers and in meetings with teams, there is always someone who says, “Let’s unpack that.” I’m not sure if it is a good replacement for “Let’s take a deep dive into that.” Great metaphors, but enough is enough. “Let’s just review that” more instead.

Then there are the folks who tell me to “look” when they really want me to listen. I become confused or think maybe it is they who do not understand the five senses properly—“Look, I am telling you that…!”

And then there is “At the end of the day.” That one drives me crazy. People are saying, “Well, at the end of the day, we will be able to raise more money” or “At the end of the day, our mission will be fulfilled if we do this or that.” It seems that the fascination with the end of the day is there to replace “the bottom line,” which also drove me crazy. But when some idiot actually says, “At the end of the day, when everything is said and done, the bottom line is we will have more money in the bank if we do this or that!” That’s when I lose it!

Of course, we live in a society today that has to be open and transparent. Can you recall a meeting in the past year where at least one person has not said “If we are being open and transparent?” From my experience, the reciter of this phrase (which I am sure replaced the “honest and trustworthy” phrase that was a mainstay of meetings for decades) is usually the least honest, least trustworthy, least open, and least transparent of the bunch! Just my experience!

Last year at the WSC® Alberta Forum during the 5 Minute Pitch®, moderators Jerilynn Daniels from RBC and Christi Cruz from TELUS initiated the audience with Sponsorship Bingo. It was terrific. The players card had all these phrases like “unpack it” and industry phrases like “let’s meet and discuss” or “this has huge impact” or “it’s a great cause,” and when you heard one of the 5 Minute Pitch® panelists use one of these words, you could “dob” that space and whoever got blackout first won some great prizing. Now, that is the way to get rid of these horrible phrases! And Christi and Jerilynn are back with Sponsorship Bingo this year at the WSC® Alberta Forum so be sure to register today!

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  1. I love today’s commentary! YES! To every point!
    When someone uses filler phrases, it reveals to me how little they know, and how gullible they assume I am. No one wins in that scenario, because I’m starting out insulted. Every word should have worth and sincerity, especially if you are taking my time and expecting me to consider spending money. Rehearse your key messages! If I want to hear “at the end of the day” and “play the full 60 minutes” I’ll watch TSN highlights. I think more people need to have a really tough English professor to give them a D on their first essay – why, yes, that’s a lesson from my life, about how coasting on reputation (I was a straight A student to this point) and a little swagger, is about the worst thing you can do to impress. Be real, and that’s the only thing that makes you unforgettable.

    • Rri… you are amazing. I love this. Thanks you for reading and commenting. I appreciate it. And I love your straight forward message and great examples. Hope all else is well, talk soon. Brent

  2. Don’t forget my favorite – NO PROBLEM!

    • Ken,
      Lol… oh year the infamous “no problem”. When I was in the restaurant business I was taught to never say “no problem”. It automatically infers that there is / was a problem!!!

      Hey thanks for reading and the feedback. Brent

  3. The one that I hate is “lived experience”. Any experience is “lived”!

    • Ah yes… my last “dead experience”…. as someone pointed out to me in an email today that the superfluous use of “today” should be dropped as well…. “we live in a society today” – he notes that it already infers today when we say “we live in a society”… good point!


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