Whachu Talkin’ Bout Willis?

Are there certain phrases that irritate the crap out of you? One that I am thinking about today, mainly because I seem to be hearing it a lot is … “You should be ashamed of yourself” or worse yet “yourselves”. Nothing good can come of such a statement.

How about “The fact of the matter”?  When someone uses this phrase, be prepared for a firehose of bullshit. The phrase is almost always followed by either an opinion or some shit that the dude just made up on the fly. It is always neither a fact nor something that matters.

I mean , sheesh, at least get some information out of the transaction would ya? These moronic statements are used by politicians, managers, and just plain old dumb shits as punctuation marks. They provide no additional information other than the fact that you can’t come up with something intelligent to say.

There, I feel better.

Now in light of these words of wisdom and as a bottom line at the end of the day, these thoughts were all nicely boiled down by some other smarty pants wise guy into this extensive list of stupid shit and meaningless phrases that effective leaders NEVER USE.

  1. “At the end of the day…” This is among the most universally hated pieces of business jargon, and you can’t escape it. It seems to come up, usually more than once, in every single business discussion.
  2. “The bottom line is…” Almost as common as “at the end of the day,” with the same unneeded meaning.
  3. “Net net…” Unless you’re talking about investing and literally mean that you’re establishing the value of a company based on its current assets alone, this phrase is just as meaningless as the first two.
  4. “Let’s net it out…” This too has a specific literal meaning–earnings after taxes and other costs have been paid. If that’s not what you’re saying, don’t use this phrase.
  5. “…on a go-forward basis.” At least it’s comforting to know we’re not planning to go backwards.
  6. “To be honest with you…” Don’t ever use this phrase or people may think everything you said before was a lie.
  7. “To make a long story short…” It’s probably too late.
  8. “At this moment in time…” If you need to let people know something is happening now, say “now.”
  9. “The reality is…” So everything you said  before this was fantasy?
  10. “If you really think about it…” In other words, your listeners are brainless and can’t think things through for themselves.
  11. “With all due respect…” This phrase is worse than meaningless, it’s insulting. It’s invariably a precursor to saying that someone else is dead wrong–and thus not worthy of much respect.
  12. “The fact of the matter is…” Apparently, nothing you said before this statement was factual. 
  13. “To boil it down…” This is the same idea as making a “long story short.” And it’s just as unlikely to actually happen.
  14. “It is what it is.” If you mean, “This can’t be changed,” then say that. On the other hand, use this phrase if you want to sound like Gertrude Stein. 
  15. “It all adds up to…” If you’re totaling a column of numbers, then use this phrase. But if you’re presenting a conclusion, just present it without the meaningless intro.