Friday, June 19, 2009

Blacklisted Words

Nathan, who went to Townsville, blacklists the following words on his Blog, because their overuse has robbed their meaning:
  • Literally
  • Identify
  • Utilise
  • Showcase
  • Sustainable
Agree or disagree?
Care to add?



Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

i add 'equipped'

Nathan said...

Some of them are just on the list because they annoy me.

michael jensen said...


Jeremy Holland said...

how about the word 'blacklist'? ;-)

Nathan said...

Yeah. I'm all for blacklisting "blacklist"...

But at least its succinct and functional while the others all have either more simple roots or have suffered overuse (and most of them by me - professionally).

They're words I've caught myself overusing in media releases (the ones that aren't there simply because they annoy me).

I will add suggestions posted here to the list.

Anonymous said...


Phil said...

I was ‘literally’ thinking of doing this the other day, but I was finding it hard to ‘identify’ which words to block. I tried to ‘utilise’ google to help me, but this was not a ‘sustainable’ solution. I guess the only other option was for me to ‘showcase’ the ideas, but now you have put it in your blog as a question. Thanks, I think I will just ‘utilise the feedback from here. =))

Anonymous said...

Thought of a couple more:

/Karen/ said...

Most of the adverbs/adjectives should go--especially "ultimately" and "so".

Overuse of the passive voice is a big no no.

Plagiarising the phraseology of the Bible is another (e.g. "For ...", "it itself" [reflexive pronouns], "how much more", "more than that" [the last one tops my blacklist]).

Sharon said...

May I add some phrases? I cannot bear 'at the end of the day', 'when all is said and done'and 'No offense, but...'.

Sally Hitchiner said...

-> "Sound"
when referring to a person rather than an idea.
It's a bit too on or off for my liking... a bit OT prophet to either blindly follow or stone 'em as heresy personified.

-> "actual" and "you know" (maybe these are just a UK writing tick though!)

-> has someone said "literally" ?

I have to say though that we only really have a right to talk to ourselves as bloggers here... when you enter someone else's blog it's a bit like entering their house, finding the good or critiquing content rather than nitpicking style should be the order of the day, no?

Having said that, I am taking careful note of all we've said to attempt to minimise my communication misdemeanours!

Nick said...

'I take it that...' and 'strategic'

Anonymous said...


Few people know what it really means and in what context it can be correctly used... thereby giving it no meaning at all in the popular mind.