At the risk of sounding like John Humphrys…

There are certain words and phrases that manage to infiltrate the English language that become part of everyday usage without, frankly, any justification.

Some examples:

Going forward“. Where the hell did that come and what does it mean? I only started to notice it recently, and maybe it has actually been around for a long time. But I doubt it. I’ve even had to issue an edict in my ministerial private office that this phrase should not be included in any speech that’s written for me.

No-brainer“. Well. obviously no-one who has a British (rather than American) passport would use this anyway.

Walk the walk…” Oh, give me strength. Next time you hear anyone, particularly a politician, saying something along the lines of “he may walk the walk, but does he talk the talk?”, just give him a slap.

Leading edge“. I could be wrong here, but isn’t this a politically-correct version of “cutting edge”? What’s wrong with the latter? Edges don’t lead, they cut.

Other examples to be added as and when I come across them, but suggestions always welcome.



Filed under Media, Uncategorized

4 responses to “At the risk of sounding like John Humphrys…

  1. Richard Thomas

    If I might be direct, your use of ‘frankly’ as above is one of my horrors – are you really being frank in saying the blindlingly obvious? On a wider note I can see no sense nor reason in ‘at the end of the day’ and try to stop it whenever I come across it.

  2. Good to see another pedant visiting the sight, Richard. But, to be frank, I don’t agree with your first point. However, on “at the end of the day”, you’re absolutely right. My problem is, sometimes I use it because no alternatives spring immediately to mind.

  3. Islington Neil

    Yes, with you on this one. My personal favourite is the “its a big ask”. Always thought ask was a verb.

  4. Chris

    Low hanging fruit. Ministers are always using it and it drives me up the wall!

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