It’s Time To Retire The Most Abused Words And Phrases Of 2017

Each year a gaggle of words and phrases permeate the marketing, advertising and clickbait landscape. In the past 24 hours, two enterprising organizations pitched me “epic” info products. Each guaranteed I would “crush it.”

As we approach the tail end of 2017 let’s review a list of abused words and phrases. Can we say goodbye to these words and phrases by the end of the year?

I know I’m missing a few here so feel free to add your own.


Example Usage:

This webinar is going to be epic

Our epic program is now available for only 48 hours. Only 100 copies of this digital product remain.

What’s the litmus test for something epic? It’s kind of like a beautiful painting. You just know it when you see it. At some point, the term crossed over into cringe-worthy territory. No matter how epic your [insert name] is, find another word to describe its awesomeness.

Crush It

Example Usage:

You’ll crush it with …

Dude… I’m crushing it…

Let’s reserve “crush” for the physical act of crushing something.


Example Usage:

What celebrity [insert] looks like now is jaw-dropping

This fitness program gives you a jaw-dropping figure in seven days

Confession, I once used this term myself. Overuse and abuse makes it one to avoid.

Shocking, Shockingly

Example Usage:

[Insert Celebrity] Shockingly high net worth

You’ll be shocked when chunks of money fall into your lap

The word shocking once had its place. What happened? The clickbait gods got their grubby hands on it. The bar on shocking fell so “shockingly” low. You now risk credibility when you use it.

Here’s the irony of shocking. If I tell you my weight loss plan produces shocking results, it won’t be shocking when it happens.

Alternative Spellings (especially in all CAPS)





That’s my five. Did I miss any?

Experimenter in life, productivity, and creativity. Work in Forge | Elemental | Business Insider | GMP | Contact: barry@barry-davret dot com.

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