Like it or not, we all need rules.
Does that sound a bit too regimented for your rebellious side? Guidelines any better?
OK, we all need guidelines. In just about any aspect of your life you know there are boundaries that you can’t cross. That’s why you should set some for your business’ written content too.
You will already have words that you find particularly irritating and will avoid regardless, but why not make your banned words list a bit more formal? Writing is a creative process and there is a danger that some of your would-be banned words might slip into your copy if you get a bit carried away.
If there’s more than one person contributing to your business’ content then your need is even greater.
The benefits of a banned words list
- It discourages cliches. We all succumb to a hackneyed word or phrase from time-to-time. If you know the ones that your business is susceptible to, they are easier to avoid.
Words you might like to ban: innovative, revolutionary, passionate
- It stops corporate nonsense. Business websites are littered with management-speak: words that are widely overused, probably due to some over-enthusiastic use of Microsoft Word’s thesaurus at some point in the dim and distant past. Somebody decided that it was better than saying it in simple terms, and it caught on.
Words you might like to ban: solutions, facilities, synergy
- It makes you focus on what your business is and isn’t. If you start hunting around for synonyms to describe your business while you’re mid-project, the search for variety might result in you taking desperate measures. Life’s a lot easier if you’ve already got rid of words you know you don’t really want to use.
- It helps your colleagues. Think of the banned words list as an indication to your co-workers of the hymn-sheets from which they shouldn’t be singing. It should help you to get more of a collective grip on your brand’s persona. It will also save lots of ‘tsk, tsk’-ing.
Do you already use a banned words list? If not, what words would you ban?