Some words or phrases are so overused, they become meaningless and/or have lost their connection to their true definition or intention. I really dislike these words and terms, and try to avoid them in speech and writing. (George likes to irritate me by using them more.)

Here are some of my entries in the TOO MEANINGLESS TO USE list:

  • Blindside (perhaps unique to reality TV)
  • Bucket list
  • Just saying
  • Literally
  • No offense/with all due respect
  • Outside the box
  • Perfect storm
  • Spoilers/spoiler alert
  • Win-win
Much better to be precise, interesting, and individual in your communication!
What words or phrases would you add to the list?

Whole Foods, Really?

Although I know that the grammatical rule that no prepositions should end sentences is being relaxed (or, sadly, just plain mocked), I still find the use of “at” at the end of sentences or questions like nails on a chalkboard.

Consequently, when I saw this flyer at Whole Foods last night, my heart sank. I guess we’re not even going to feign attention to grammar anymore. Wouldn’t it have been just as easy and more elegant for the question to read, “At which store do you shop?” or “Which Whole Foods store do you most frequently visit?” These alternatives solicit the same information without piercing the eardrums of grammarphiles.

Grammar Girl on Ending with Prepositions
Red Pen Inc Blog

Grumpy Grammar Facist

At the ninth hour, I finished my reviews for this year’s Academy of Management meeting. I feel loyal to several divisions, so for the past few years, I’ve volunteered to read for the GDO (Gender and Diversity), OB (Organizational Behavior), and SIM (Social Issues in Management) divisions. We can receive up to three reviews per division. (Next year, I will be more conservative.)

This year, I got five submissions total to read. While they were all interesting, in all but two cases, I wanted to put a screwdriver through my ear when reading the manuscripts. It felt like they were written in another language and put through an automatic translator without any follow-up editing. Struggling to understand the meaning of the sentences, I sometimes forgot to evaluate the content. Although I know it’s important for the Academy to be international in scope, the language of our convention is English, and if the papers can’t be communicated in English, it’s hard for me to see a place for them on the program. My very late attention to this task did not help my mood, either.