There are words, phrases and clichés that we as writers are guilty of using far too often. Pick up any advertisement, a marketing collateral or even the annual reports, these words are omnipresent (yes, this is an overused word too). Take for example the word ‘luxury’ and how it makes its way into every other real estate advertisement. Or how the term ‘state-of-the-art’ is inescapable on any company’s website.
While most lists of overused words focus on ‘new’ and ‘trendy’ words that have suddenly experienced a surge in their usage, this list focuses on the hackneyed words or phrases that have been done to death; the bastardization of which were once ‘normal’ words.
We have littered our writing with such intensifiers that its effect, more often than not, is mild and moderate. It’s no wonder that we now find the word luxury being accompanied by words like ‘ultimate’ or ‘ultra’ to emphasise that it is actually a luxurious offering.
Clients, many-a-times, adjure us to employ these words in our writings. No write-up for restaurants is complete without the words ‘scrumptious, succulent, and how can I forget, delicious. And when one has used the word delicious way too many times, replace it with delectable.
Build to perfection, handcrafted, best-in-class, cutting-edge have all lost their essence. They have been used over and over again and so oft repeated that they fail to evoke any emotions from the reader.
Every other new app or product is ‘innovative’, it really doesn’t matter if the product is a replica of the ones already exist in the market. Disruptive innovation, strategic, robust, etc. are trendy buzzwords that companies use to demarcate themselves from the competition. While they believe the words offer a sharp and effective communication, the fact is that they have saturated the market with its overzealous usage.
Ever noticed that a real luxury brand advertisement never uses the word luxury or premium. The entire communication is weaved in such a way that you experience luxury without the word being slapped across.
I don’t think we need to stop using these words, but instead, take this list as a reminder and use these words more consciously. It would be a ‘game-changing’ move.
Out of the box
P.S.: What’ the most overused word according to you?