When phrases become overused, hackneyed and clichéd, they become gobbledygook.
And when you use gobbledygook, your writing becomes meaningless.
What are the worst offenders? Marketing strategist and author David Meerman Scott analysed all 711,123 press releases distributed in 2008 by North American companies through Business Wire, Marketwire, GlobeNewswire, and PR Newswire to find the most overused words and phrases.
The worst offenders were:
Warning bells should ring when you read guff like: We are pleased to announce our new and improved commitment is 120 per cent more cost effective and will deliver world class outcomes that optimise scalability and leverage value-added metrics.
So how do you avoid gobbledygook? As Meerman Scott says, just use words your customers use.
• Gauge the gobbledygook content of any piece of writing, go to the Gobbledygook Grader
• Find out more about gobbledygook, go to Meerman Scott’s website
• Read Meerman Scott’s Gobbledygook Manifesto