It's a good thing I'm not a jargon police officer. If I were, I'd send out arrest warrants, fines, citations—anything I could to get people to ditch
certain trite words and phrases.
Here are some buzzwords that have been floating around the echo chamber (sorry!):
Building and/or burning bridges
Hate to break it to you, but most of you majored in English or journalism. Let's save the industrial work for the civil engineers—and the conflagrations to
Run it up the flagpole
When's the last time you ran a flag up an actual flagpole? Running anything else up a flagpole seems counterintuitive. Overuse this chestnut from the "Mad
Men" era, and people's interest will flag.
Take the pulse of your audience and share it
Sounds like a HIPAA violation. Besides, depending on the size of the audience, taking everyone's pulse could go on for hours. You have better things to do.
At the end of the day
You can't get to the end of the day if you ignore the beginning of your morning and the middle of the afternoon. So, unless you're singing along with the
cast of "Les Miserables," ditch this one.
The elephant in the room
I usually see elephants in zoos. If there ever was an elephant in a room, I wouldn't ignore it. I'd say, "Wait! Why is there an elephant in this room?" And
if the elephant answered me directly, I'd quietly put away the tequila.
That's not in my wheelhouse
It seems like everybody is protesting that certain things are either "in" or "out" of their wheelhouse. Are they piloting a boat? When people say this, I
just want them to go back to their regular house and stay there.
This is impossible. This means you'd have to be awake for 168 hours a week, nonstop. Get some sleep. Besides, the slash makes 7 a divisor, not a
multiplicand, so you're actually at just under 3.5 hours, you slacker. Now go look up multiplicand.
Content is king
A dreadful misquoting of Shakespeare: "Now is the winter of this content made glorious summer by this sun of York." And what of the queen, the
jester, and the rest of the courtiers?
The only thing people should dive into is swimming pools. Besides, if you dive into data, you'll just end up crunching your numbers. You do not want
Get your synergies to realign
This one actually comes in handy—in case someone accidentally swallows poison and you need to induce vomiting.
Jessica Levco is co-editor of Ragan's Health Care Communication News.