What words and phrases would you like to ban?


The CEO of Tribune Co in the US Randy Michaels is a man after my own heart, he has issued a list of 119 words and phrases which must never be uttered by reporters on his talk radio station (hat-tip Stephen Brook).

These include: “lending a helping hand”, “mother of all anything” and “lucky to be alive”.

I’m with him, and George Orwell, on this one who – as every journalism student will know – said in his first rule on writing (in the essay Politics and the English Language):

“Never use a metaphor, simile or other figure of speech which you are used to seeing in print.”

Words currently banned from Press Gazette include “staggering” to decribe sums of money, job losses etc. and “extraordinary”, which is being rested until further notice.

Further nominations are welcome.

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