Most publications have an internal style guide for writers. For example, here at Flavorpill we frown upon food metaphors. Some places are much more specific. As Hugo Lindgren relays over on The New York Times Magazine’s The 6th Floor, when he was first hired at New York Magazine back in 1997, Kurt Andersen had just been fired as editor. But during his tenure, he (or presumably, one of his assistants) had created a one-page document titled “Words We Don’t Say.”
“It contained, as you might surmise, words and phrases that Kurt found annoying and didn’t want used in his magazine,” Lindgren explains. “Just yesterday, I rescued it from a bunch of old office stuff that I was throwing out, and I have to say, 14 years later, it’s still a pretty useful list of phony-baloney vocabulary that editors are well-advised to excise from stories.” Click through to check out the list of what irked Andersen, and let us know in the comments if there are certain words or phrases that you avoid.