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Stop Using These Words And Phrases

Better known as clichés, overused words and phrases are lazy and lose their meaning.

They cause people to sigh and roll their eyes.

They're annoying.

Like cursing, their usage indicates that you have nothing sophisticated or original to say (I'm a fan of cursing, but I also have good timing. Shit yeah, I do.)

If you're running a meeting, don't use clichés, or you may lose your audience. People count on your leadership, not your inability to articulate. If you're writing content, don't use clichés, or you may lose your readers. Your customers and prospects count on your creativity, not on language that is tired.

Read on to see how I REALLY feel about the following clichés:

No Pun Intended

There are two problems with this one:

1) The pun is always intended. If your financial adviser tells you, “You have to be smart with your money. I don’t think you can afford the risk of investing in crypto, no pun intended,” they were absolutely salivating to use that expression, probably waiting all morning. No, this is not a conversation I had with my guy.

2) Since a pun is a play on words, there’s no need to call it out. It just does its pun thing on its own. Doing The Pun Dance 💃🏻doesn’t impress people. It makes them think, “Thanks dude, I get it.”

Put Things In Perspective


There’s enough consternation to go around, and its severity doesn’t matter. Your pain is your pain. Unfortunately, the self-righteous police who live among us and share the same privileges feel the need to shame.

“You’re exhausted and stressed out? You need to put things in perspective.”

Those who command us to put things in perspective really mean that they want you to see the world as they do--in other words, to put things in their perspective. It’s a veiled way of accusing someone of not having empathy when expecting them to think, feel, and emote as the shamer does is actually un-empathetic.

They’re Selling Like Hotcakes

What the hell is a hotcake?

I Can’t Complain

Oh yes you can.

There’s a lot to justifiably complain about. Covid, omnipresent injustice, Succession only having 9 episodes this season rather than the standard 10.

There’s an incredible but harrowing podcast called Terrible, Thanks For Asking that, well, here, I’ll just quote its description:

“You know how when someone asks ‘How are you?’ you just say ‘Fine’ even if you’re totally dying inside, so everyone can go about their day? ‘Terrible, Thanks For Asking’ is the opposite of that. Nora McInerny asks real people to share their complicated and honest feelings about how they really are. It’s sometimes sad, sometimes funny, and often both.”

Sometimes sad, sometimes funny captures the essence of life and the ubiquity of emotions. This is how real people feel, as it says. Shrugging and saying that you can’t complain does not make you more relatable.

Live Each Day Like It’s Your Last

This is nouveau carpe diem, and it doesn’t work.

I anticipate that my last day will be in a hospice bed connected to IVs while my younger and healthier family members wait for the nurse to call the time of my death.

The average life expectancy for males in the U.S. is 75. First, that’s concerningly low, and second, this means I have about 27 quality years left before I begin to aggressively break down.

I’d rather not spend the next 9,855 days on my deathbed.

Make Your Dreams A Reality


Pardon the sass, but I feel as a writer it’s my duty to put clichés in their place. However, there are exceptions, especially when it comes to parenting. “They grow so fast” couldn’t be closer to the truth, as my oldest will start high school next year, and my youngest admonishes me to watch my language. “The days are long and the years short” is spot-on, and I wish it weren’t. It’s almost 2022 for Christ’s sake!

The list will continue in my next post. In the meantime, Happy New Year!

About the Author, David Telisman

I am a Writer and Content Creator, and I work with businesses to inspire their customers to buy from them. I believe that my clients deserve to feel proud of how their content marketing looks and what it says, and I deliver by providing expert content writing and email marketing solutions.

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