April 29: Crutch phrase
An overworked figure of speech, such as, inter alia, “at the end of the day,” or “it is what is,” or “thinking outside the box,” or “leverage our resources.” Crutchphrases are a common refuge of speakers who have difficulty articulating ideas or concepts without reflexively using jargon and clichÃƒÂ©. Often relied upon by powerpoint-user speakers who simply repeat what is already printed on the Powerpoint slide.
The use of a crutchphrase is often an open admission of an unwillingness or inability to think, let alone use language effectively.
“At the end of the day,” the speaker droned, “we have to think out of the box if we are to successfully leverage our resources.” Note the split infinitive.
“But,” protested a listener, “you’re not making any sense at all, you’re just babbling a bunch of crutch phrases!”
“It is what it is,” replied the speaker, retreating to the safe territory of a crutch phrase.
Every presentation I pray I don’t fall prey to these, easy, useless words. It’s so hard to stay fresh – Ed.