Phrases to avoid. Most of us can work on these.

Posted By on November 21, 2021

Saw a longer list  of phrases on CNBC’s "Make It" website last week but pick out a few  that I hear (or say) quite often. The easiest to correct are probably the ones that we stop saying … but can it be done?

XsNrM5T5_400x400“Needless to say …”

What to say instead: Nothing

“Needless to say” comes from a long line of ironic phrases where you open a topic by saying you’re not going to say something, but then say it anyway. So why do it?

“In my opinion …”

What to say instead: Nothing

Cut to the chase and remove the unnecessary, weak intros. Whoever is listening to you or reading what you’ve written knows that it’s your opinion or your belief. That’s why you’re telling them whatever you’re telling them!

“For what it’s worth …”

What to say instead: Nothing

This is another intro that makes it sound as if you’re not convinced yourself about what you’re saying. And if you’re not convinced about your point, why should anyone else be?

“… if you know what I mean” 

What to say instead: Nothing

We’ve seen so many people end sentences with “if you know what I mean,” or its truncated near-twin “know what I mean?” If you’re one of them, stop now. It’s a filler phrase that means nothing — and actually irritates a lot of people.

Along the same lines, avoid starting sentences with puffy phrases like “It’s important to note that …” All you’re doing is adding useless words. Know what we mean?

Posted from “word nuts” Kathy and Ross Petras


Desultory - des-uhl-tawr-ee, -tohr-ee

  1. lacking in consistency, constancy, or visible order, disconnected; fitful: desultory conversation.
  2. digressing from or unconnected with the main subject; random: a desultory remark.
My Desultory Blog