Cliches: Trite or Trendy?

Snippets on 04-27-10:

Clichés: Trite or Trendy?

Successful B2B business communication always boils down to using just the right words or phrases.  Whether it’s a speech, blog, e-mail, tweet, or press release, word-smithing is a factor. As the author of any of these document types, you may want to consider clichés as a category of phrases or words to either avoid or embrace.

 Here are the top ten business clichés according to business author Seth Godin. His original ten have now grown to over 380 words or phrases in his “The Encyclopedia of Business Clichés,” most all of which have been added, or voted upon, by site users on 

Top Ten Business Clichés


Win-win situation


Paradigm shift


Thinking outside of the box


At the end of the day,…


Giving 110%


Low-hanging fruit


Best practices


Going forward




Push the envelope

Clichés are important to good writing and effective communications. Since we all write, even if it’s just e-mail, we should understand the issues and implications of clichés, such as:

  • What are the various manifestations of clichés? Text messaging acronyms?
  • As shorthand, are they communications efficient?
  • Are clichés okay to use in certain types of documents?
  • What role does the target audience play in determining whether clichés are acceptable?
  • Can clichés contribute to Web 3.0’s “compelling content?”
  • Is Godin’s interpretation of clichés correct, that some make communicating “easier,” while others hide, obfuscate, lie, or confuse/avoid the issue?

 Learn more about clichés.

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