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March 14, 2014

Don't Use These Phrases!

I urge my students to avoid cliche's and slogans in their writing. But some phrases are even worse than...

...the numb predictableness of slogans.

There are phrases that are empty, meaningless, contradictory and incoherent. They demonstrate a level of laziness and mental sloppiness that is, to put it mildly, not appreciated by most teachers or potential employers.

The whole point of grown-up, professional writing is to be clear, concise, and, if possible, appealing and memorable.

Lazy phrases convince any reader that you have nothing new to say, and even if you did, it would be laborious, tedious and difficult to read.

So here's my simple advice - Don't Use These Phrases!

Here's an article with deadly phrases and why they should never (ever!) be used - http://www.buzzfeed.com/weareteachers/attention-writers-never-use-these-phrases-seriou-h0xt.

As I've said before on this blog, use grown-up, complete words. If you avoid slang and trendy words, people will always understand you - and isn't that why we write or speak at all?

Be sure to send us any words or phrases that puzzle you, and be sure to let us know what it is about English and language learning that you find confounding, infuriating or endlessly intriguing.

Listen, read and speak. Make your new language your own.

My best to you as you make your way through this intriguing , constantly shifting linguistic landscape.

Morf

Posted by mmorf at March 14, 2014 09:44 PM

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