Words to Ban in the New Year

Are you looking for a quick way to improve your business communication in 2006? How about banishing a few stale words and phrases from your presentations and documents?

Lake Superior State University, in Michigan (USA), publishes an annual Banished Word List.  Their list of words and phrases to avoid in 2006 includes these:

  • Surreal
  • Hunker down
  • Person of interest
  • Community of learners
  • Up or down vote
  • Breaking news
  • Designer breed
  • FEMA
  • First-time caller
  • Pass the savings on to you
  • 97% fat free
  • An accident that didn’t have to happen
  • Junk science
  • Git-er-done
  • Dawg
  • Talking points
  • Holiday tree

Visit the Banished Word List page for brief, light-hearted explanations of why these expressions made the list. Here’s an example of what you’ll find:

Community of Learners: A five-dollar phrase on a nickel errand. Value-added into many higher education mission statements. Not to be confused with "school."

For an extensive list of words to avoid, pick up a copy of Why Business People Speak Like Idiots, my favorite book on business communication.