Overused Words, Cliches, Jargon, Obfuscation, Rhetoric…

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The Article

Formed in 1979, the Plain English Campaign is an independent group that campaigns against cliches, jargon and obfuscation, particularly in official and public documents. It released its list of words and phrases that english-speakers around the globe have had it up to here with through 2003.

The list includes (in order):

1. At the end of the day
2. At this moment in time
3. Constant use of “like” as if it were a form of punctuation
4. With all due respect

Other phrases that got votes are (alphabetically):

·address the issue
·around (in place of “about”)
·ballpark figure
·basis (“on a weekly basis” in place of “weekly” and so on)
·bear with me
·between a rock and a hard place
·blue sky (thinking)
·boggles the mind
·bottom line
·crack troops
·diamond geezer
·epicentre (used incorrectly)
·glass half full (or half empty)
·going forward
·I hear what you’re saying..
·in terms of…
·it’s not rocket science
·move the goal-posts
·pushing the envelope
·singing from the same hymn sheet
·the fact of the matter is
·thinking outside the box
·to be honest/to be honest with you/to be perfectly honest
·touch base
·up to (in place of “about”)
·value-added (in general use)

But there are a few they missed:

·Bush lied
·Bush is a liar
·Bush lied about Iraq
·Bush lied about Iraq and the war was about stealing their oil
·Bush lied about Iraq and Saddam Hussein was not a threat to America
·Now lets get the Democratic point-of-view
·Let’s ask another Democrat what they think
·Let’s see if any Democrats disagree
·If you’re a Democrat, call in
·Democrats seem to disagree
·Let’s poll Democrats to ascertain their point-of-view
·Now let’s hear from some Democrats
·Apparently the left disagrees, and here’s exactly how and why in detail, again
·Senator Clinton has a different take on this issue
·Senator Kerry says…
·Senator Kennedy says…
·Howard Dean says…
·The Reverend Sharpton says…
·Tom Daschle says…
·Former President Clinton says…
·Tax cuts don’t work
·No Tax Cuts Work!
·We will lower taxes but we still think they don’t work!
·Going to Iraq was a mistake!
·Well, yes, I voted to go to Iraq…
·I am a war hero
·I won medals because I am a hero
·People see me as a hero, war-wise
·Speaking as a war hero…
·I am a brave, brave awesome war hero man’s man
·Iraq posed no threat against Americans the way Kosovo did.  Oh hang on…
·There were no WMD
·As we all knew, there would be no WMD found
·Democrats and French people all agree: Hussein was not lying about anything.
·We all knew in advance that obviously there would clearly be no WMD, duh, see?


Joel Johannesen
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