Carlos Lozada, editor of the  Washington Post ‘s Outlook section, provides a fantastic list of some of the hackneyed words and phrases his stylebook forbids. It’s striking to see how many of these bits of jargon are recycled in nearly every piece of reporting on offer. When was the last time you read about a “charm offensive” or political “pushback” in a crisis with “shifting dynamics?”

A few favorites:

Needless to say

Midwife (as a verb that does not involve childbirth)

A rare window (unless we’re talking about a real window that is in fact rare)

Rorschach test (unless it is a real one)

Palpable sense of relief


Remains to be seen

Double down

Rose from obscurity (in journalism, all rises are from obscurity)

Dizzying array (in journalism, all arrays make one dizzy)

Withering criticism (in journalism, all criticism is withering)

Predawn raid (in journalism, all raids are predawn)

Dons the mantle of

Growing body of evidence

Tapped (as substitute for “selected” or “appointed”)

Ignominious end

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