Posts Tagged ‘Robb Deigh’

Worst Business Cliche’s of 2016

clichesOne of the joys of January is the appearance of the “Annual List of the Worst Business Clichés,” compiled by PR pro Rob Deigh. Deigh produces his list every year to encourage every writer to get rid of “those fetid phrases that dull our otherwise-brilliant conversations and writing.”

I have to admit that the list also usually makes me feel a little embarrassed. You see, every once in a great, great while a couple of those clichés crept into speeches I wrote. I’ll blame the client for that.

You can find the full 2016 list on Deigh’s website, but here are the some of the ones I see popping up all too regularly these days. (Deigh’s punchier, clearer alternatives are in parens.)

  • It is what it is (the facts are)
  • Circle back (discuss again)
  • Touch base (contact)
  • Close the loop (tell everyone involved)
  • At the end of the day (ultimately)
  •  Mission critical (essential)

Seeing these clunky words and phrases compiled in a single list makes me want to add another resolution to my New Year’s goals:

Work harder to stamp out cliche’s in my work.

After all, it’s a no-brainer, right?


Check out Robb Deigh’s book, How Come No One Knows About Us?

‘Fetid Phrases’ to Avoid

clichesEach year, PR pro Rob Deigh does every writer a service (and makes some of us feel just a little embarrassed) by producing a list of the worst business clichés. Getting rid of these “fetid phrases,” as he calls them “will make your communication clearer, and people will be more inclined to pay attention.”

You can find the full 2015 list on Deigh’s newsletter, but here are the ones that particularly grate on me when I hear them in a speech or presentation. (Punchier, clearer alternatives are in parens.)


  • Brain dump (briefing)
  • Granular (more detailed)
  • Rock Star (Springsteen and Elvis Costello are. Elon Musk and Serge Brin — brilliant and rich as they may be — are not).
  • Mission critical (essential)
  • Future plans (just “plans” – ALL plans are future)
  • Best of breed (most successful)
  • On their radar screen (we have their attention)
  • Close the loop (tell everyone involved)

And now in the interest of full disclosure,  here are a few that MAY have crept in to speeches I have written.

  • Crunch time (near deadline)
  • Push the envelope (exceed limits)
  • The perfect storm of…(the right conditions for; a bad combination)

So I’ll add one more New Year’s resolution: to become more vigilant in seeking out and destroying cliche’s.

Check out Robb Deigh’s book, How Come No One Knows About Us?