Wednesday, November 14, 2007

On and on and on ....

As I noted, we should avoid words that can trip a speaker’s tongue and others that have become clichés. But we also need to avoid words that are simply unnecessary. Doing so will make our messages more succinct and memorable.

One of the best (or worst) examples of unnecessary words is ongoing, as in “We have an ongoing program….” We hear it from politicians, business leaders and even news professionals. Folks, if something isn’t ongoing, it doesn’t exist. Modifiers such as new, rejuvenated or active may add a distinction, but ongoing does nothing except make a sentence that has already gone on too long even more – ongoing.


Speaking of going on and on … a New Jersey woman became the first Baby Boomer to file for Social Security benefits. She did it online, and thank God the other 80 million Boomers can also use the government’s website. Can you imagine how long those lines would be?!

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