Two weeks ago, I called for a ban on 24 lazy corporate verbs, among them “utilize,” “implement,” and “synergize.” At the end of the column, I asked PR Daily
readers to share the verbs they thought should be banned.
We heard you loud and clear.
Turns out there are far more than just two dozen weak verbs driving you crazy. PR Daily readers shared roughly a hundred more verbs (and pseudo-verbs) they’d like to jettison.
In case you didn’t have time to read all the comments, we went through them and grabbed 14 more words that need to be banned, along with the commentary associated with each one (click on the word to see the actual comment from the story):
“'I'll action that.' Action is not a verb. The word you are looking for is 'do.'”
“Instead of architect, try design. ‘I'm going to architect a plan that will...’”
“How about calendar... as in [people say] ‘Calendar me in’ instead of schedule a meeting...”
“You forgot ‘effort’ as a verb as in ‘He efforted the proposal.’”
“'Enhance'!! Completely subjective and promises nothing.”
“How did ‘engage’ not make the list?”
“We tell people to ‘focus’ on everything. What exactly does that mean? To me, it's a sleepy throwaway word that does not get to the specific, actionable steps we want people to take!”
“I'd add ‘incent’ to the ‘incentivize’ already on your list. It's not a verb of any kind, lazy or otherwise. It definitely ought to be expunged from the list of acceptable vocabulary words! I can't count the number of times recently that I've heard some corporate type talk about "incent-ing" employees, buyers, etc. to do something. Makes me cringe (or growl, or swear, or want to throw things) each and every time.”
“I wouldn't miss monetize.”
“All over my workplace people have started 'onboarding' our customers.
I think this must be painful for them.
I suggest we start them or join them.”
“'Revolutionize' makes me cringe! It's way over-used — especially in the tech sector.”
“I submit the laziest verb is support.”
“Traction — when used in relation to people.”
Do you have another to add to this batch?
Laura Hale Brockway is the author of the writing/editing/random thoughts blog, impertinentremarks.com.