8 Phrases To Erase From Your Vocabulary


Here is a list of redundant phrases I obtained from Mickie Kennedy (CEO of Erelease) you should eliminate from your writing and speaking and improve your business etiquette.

1. Positive improvement. As opposed to negative improvement?

2. End result. The result of something takes place at the end. Cut the word “end.”

3. Collaborate together. When you collaborate, you’re working with others. The word “together” is redundant.

4. Past history.  All history is in the past.

5. Serious crisis. I don’t have to tell you that it’s serious. All crises are serious.

6. Totally unique. There aren’t degrees of unique. Something is either unique or it isn’t.

7. Unexpected surprise. If you’re expecting something to happen, it’s not a surprise.

8. Unintended mistake. If you intended for something to happen, it wasn’t a mistake; it was a poor decision.

Stop using non-committal language.

If someone asks you if you can please do something-don’t answer:
“I should be able to”
“I’ll try”
“I’ll see if I can work on it.”

Commit yourself and answer: “Yes I will do it by end of today” Give a timeline when you believe the task will be accomplished by – if this can’t be met keep the person updated.
What are some unnecessary phrases that drive you crazy?


Here are some more phrases suggested by other professionals within my network – thank you all for sharing these with me!

Basic fundamentals
Close proximity
Direct confrontation
False pretense
reverted back
protruded out
new innovations
clearly evident
my personal opinion
– Nirmala Lalvani, Etiquette Consultant


Plan ahead
– Jane Paterson, Owner 1st Class Etiquette


current status
point in time
print it/them out
carve up
advance warning (a cousin to “advance planning”)
absolutely essential (“absolutely” anything, along the lines of “totally” anything)
– Jeanne Nelson, Business Etiquette Consultant & Trainer, Former Vice President at BNY Melon


1.Add an additional: To add is to provide another of something. Additional is extraneous.
2.Added bonus: A bonus is an extra feature, so added is redundant.
3. Definite decision: Decisions may not be final, but when they are made, they are unequivocal and therefore definite, so one should not be described as “a definite decision.”
4. Foreign imports: Imports are products that originate in another country, so their foreign nature is implicit and the word foreign is redundant.
5. Free gift: A gift is by definition free (though cynics will dispute that definition), so free is extraneous.
6.Postpone until later: To postpone is to delay. Later is superfluous.
7. Unexpected surprise: No surprise is expected, so the modifier is extraneous.
8. Unintended mistake: A mistake is an inadvertently erroneous action. The lack of intention is implicit.
9. Usual custom: A custom is something routinely and repeatedly done or observed, and usual is redundant.
– John Daly, President at The Key Class


In any way shape or form
“12 items or less” instead of “12… fewer”.
– Jane Parnes, Etiquette Consultant


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