Wednesday, March 8, 2017

‘In play’ is a stale old phrase from sports. Instead try something else like ‘up for grabs.’

On March 3 at her Speechwriter-Ghostwriter blog Jane Genova posted that President Trump Blows It With Over-Used Buzzphrase ‘Witch Hunt.’ I thought that was a hilarious example of ‘the pot calling the kettle black’ because she has recently used the phrase ‘in play’ in her post titles once a month:

‘Up for grabs’ is an obvious alternative for ‘in play.’ The day after her January 3 post I blogged about her Tired sports jargon – please don’t say pivot when another word would be better. Then on January 7 she blogged about “Pivot” “Deep Dive” “Disrupt,” et al. – Buzzwords Belonging in Graveyard. Her use of et al. also belongs in the graveyard, since it should refer to names rather than things (where et cetera belongs).

It’s easy to get ‘stuck in a rut’ of overused words or idioms. Back in graduate school I picked up the five-dollar word deleterious (harmful often in a subtle or unexpected way) from my thesis advisor. Remember that Mark Twain said:

“Don’t use a five-dollar word when a fifty-cent word will do.”

Every day or two I look at Alltop Speaking. Jane’s post titles show up there in the feed from Speaking Pro Central. My pointing to her as a bad example just is like ‘shooting fish in a barrel.’

The volleyball game image is from Wikimedia Commons.

No comments: