July 2020
Talking Points

Don’t Let Your Words Grow Tired

Parting Shot

An interesting side-effect of the current 24-hour news cycle is how fast a phrase can be overused. These phrases go from unique expressions to irritating clichés in no time. Even the phrases created with the best of intentions that were honest and true last week can look tired and cynical today. Here are a few prime examples.

“Unprecedented”

With all the recent chaos in the world, the over-use of the word “unprecedented” has become extraordinary. By now, it’s well known that society is in “uncharted waters”. If you need to draw attention to that fact, finding a different way to say it will have more impact.

“In these challenging times…”

This is the new “in today’s fast-paced digital world.” And just like that phrase, it’s the fastest way to show your reader you have nothing original to add. Just make your point without the cliché. We all know that the situation we’re in is “challenging.”

“We’re here for you”

This sentiment may sound well intentioned, but it is used so frequently that it has become meaningless. Now, when someone uses the phrase, it even sounds a little disingenuous. Don’t let your sincere messages turn into platitudes. Find a new way to express encouragement.

“New normal”

As we all grasped for a way to talk about the future, so many of us have landed on this phrase that it has already stopped being helpful shorthand and become a tired cliché.

“Now, more than ever”

Self-congratulation is not a good look right now. So, if your message amounts to “That thing we were already talking about is even more important now,” you might want to re-evaluate the way it comes across.

If you wish to stand out, for the right reasons, be wary of the default language that has sprung up around COVID. At best, it makes you invisible. At worst, you may look insincere and opportunistic. Instead, think about your customer and their challenges. Then talk to them like they’re sitting right there in front of you.

Based on B2B Buzzword Bingo

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