Top Ten Words & Phrases to Avoid


Here’s my Top Ten Words and Phrases to Avoid when writing anything. In my opinion, these words and phrases hold little or no meaning to the reader. I notice when some people write (especially their resume or bio), they tend to use these words. It seems like the writer can’t concretely articulate their message, so they use these words and phrases as a default. This reminds me of the infamous words of Curley from the Three Stooges, who profoundly stated, “I’m tryin’ to think, but nuttin’s happening!”

I have to admit I use some of these words or phrases, some of the time. Nobody’s perfect.

The Top Ten Words and Phrases to Avoid are not jargon words. Jargon is defined as “special words or expressions used by a particular profession or group that are difficult for others to understand.” Jargon is “technical talk.” The use of jargon has been adequately covered in my two treatises Why I Hate Jargon in 69 Words and Here Comes the Jargon Police.

Here’s my Top Ten Words and Phrases to Avoid in no particular order:

  1. Behavior
  2. Opportunity
  3. Concern
  4. Utilize
  5. In-depth knowledge
  6. Extensive experience
  7. Process
  8. Heavily involved
  9. Move forward
  10. Wide variety

 How are you going to eliminate using all or some of these words or phrases?

Ask yourself two questions:

  1. Is there one particular word or phrase I use when I can’t think of anything specific?
  2. Are there other words or phrases I can substitute?

Now you’re aware of these words and phrases, you can take the opportunity, using your extensive experience and in depth knowledge to move forward while utilizing a wide variety of alternative words and phrases. Oops, look what I did!