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Ban These Words Forever — Please

Ban These Words Forever — Please
(Adriana Rojas/Dreamstime)

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Friday, 15 June 2018 12:16 PM Current | Bio | Archive

In the direct response print advertising world, there used to be "magic words" that research demonstrated increased readership and coupon-clipping, as well as mailing in this or that — to get this or that.

Free, of course was one. And those participles: (or were they gerunds?) Announcing, Presenting, Introducing.

Then there were: How to, At last, Learn how to, Advice to, and Can you led the list.

8 ways was a winner, too, until 12 ways came along , courtesy of Wonder Bread building strong bodies.

The proposed words to ban here are the opposite of magic words. I would argue (and at the same time add the word “arguably” to the "Banning List") that the words weaken any argument whether in politics, sports, or restaurant selections.

Just before typing off this blog piece, I checked and read closely the first five blogs today (June 15) in the opinion section of newsmax.com. A random selection since I have no idea how they are ordered or who does the ordering.

Each one was well-argued and convinced me on subjects ranging from Pruitt and Carson, to North Korea, to Armenia, to the winner at the summit, to China, and for good measure (another one to be chopped), I also read the lead news article on tariffs — the piece leading off newsmax.com on June 15.

I am certain the writers helped their arguments by eschewing (another word to dump) the words on the list. With one exception.

The exception?

One of the writers (nameless here) used:

"It goes without saying . . . "

Now this is not as egregious as "Having said that . . . " the circling back in which speakers or writers argue against the very thing they were just arguing for.

Looking back now at the banner headline for this piece reveals another word to ban: planet. So much better to hear "the best tennis player in the world" rather than the "best tennis player on the planet."

Now, here is Tom Messner's "Banning List" of words and phrases:

Amen

Awesome

Back in the day

Barista

Basically

Bottom line

Can I take your plates or you still working on it

Circle back to you

Cut to the chase

Dial back

Double down

Dude

Duh

Ecch

Exactly

Famously

Fleshed out

Gentle reminder

Guru

Having said that

Hello?!

Hopefully

Human Resources

Iconic

Ideate

Ideation

Impactful

Incentivize

Irregardless

It goes without saying

It is what it is

Just saying

LOL

Make a long story short

Man-splain

Meh

Monetize

My bad

Needless to say

Not on my watch

Outside the box

Oxymoron

Paradigm

Pivot

Snark

Reached out

Strategize

That having been said

That said

The new normal

There you go

Thinking outside the box

To be sure

Vente

Whatever

With all due respect

Tom Messner worked forever in advertising. In politics, he avoided the predictable negative bent and did positive ads for Reagan in ’84 and for Bush in ’88 along with Bush’s convention film. The agency he co-founded created NASDAQ’s first branding, Volvo’s comeback, and Fox News’s "We Report. You Decide." Then learning from the pols he partnered with (Roger Ailes in particular), they brought attack ads to such formerly benign areas such as telecom (MCI). At 73, he’s doing two things he never did before: Blogging here on wildly unconnected subjects coming on the heels of last year’s adventure: the writing of his first play, a musical "Dogs" destined now for either Broadway or The Pound. To read more of his reports — Click Here Now.
 

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TomMessner
The proposed words to ban here are the opposite of magic words. I would argue that the words weaken any argument whether in politics, sports, or restaurant selections.
advertising, magic, research
587
2018-16-15
Friday, 15 June 2018 12:16 PM
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