Thanks to all of you who responded to my request last week for words and phrases that curl your teeth. Here are your offerings along with my snarky comments:
SIGNATURE—Every chef seems to have a “signature” dish, but this adjective has leaped from the sauté pan and threatens to displace “exciting” as the adjective du jour.
AWARD-WINNING—I got an award in third grade for perfect attendance. Am I an “award-winning human being”? Use this if it refers to a really important award. The Nobel Prize comes to mind.
WORLD-CLASS—So many companies, so many products are “world class.” I question the modesty. Why stop with the world? How about an intergalactic-class car or cookie?
CUTTING EDGE—Another overused bit of puffery. It ran its course in 1987, along with STATE OF THE ART
UTILIZE—This says nothing that “use” doesn’t cover. Have you ever bought a utilized car? People think it sounds important; it doesn’t. Pompous, yes, but not important.
RAMPING UP—Increasing, growing, enlarging, adding, raising, boosting, accruing, accumulating, enhancing, spreading, augmenting—use your thesaurus. You’ll find even more words that can supplant this cliché.
MOVING (or GOING) FORWARD—Apparently, the future has disappeared, even though worries about the Mayan calendar were unfounded. Fortunately, I think the past still exists because I have not heard people talk about “moving backward.” Yet.
I GO/ I’M ALL/ I’M LIKE—By all means, use these instead of “I said” if your goal is to sound like a 14-year-old gum snapper.