Why the puck are you using that hackneyed quotation?

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“I skate to where the puck is going to be, not where it has been.” Wayne Gretzky “Do you really think we haven’t heard this a thousand times? Uggh.” Weary readers For the second time in the last year, I was editing a business book that cited this overused, stale, moth-eaten, clichéd Gretzky quote. In … Continued

Fall down seven times get up eight

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Inspiring, no? People keep using this quote (a Japanese proverb) to tell me to persevere no matter what. No matter how many times life knocks you down, you’re supposed to take it and get up again, right? I have just a few problems with this. First of all, who stays down? Short of suicide, of … Continued

Creative agency jargon at J. Walter Thomson

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People leave companies and executives have to write statements. These statements must say everything and nothing at the same time. This is not the place for creativity, but try telling that to J. Walter Thomson. Matt Eastwood, Chief Creative Officer of the agency J. Walter Thomson, is out. They’re not replacing him. This creates a … Continued

Patriots win AFC championship, Boston Globe wins the Cliche Bowl

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Sportswriting is hard. You’re writing about things that have happened many times before, and on a deadline. The inevitable result is overblown exaggerations, overused cliches, hackneyed player quotes, and generally flaccid writing. Case in point: the Boston Globe’s coverage of the New England Patriots’ come-from-behind victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars in yesterday’s AFC Championship game. We’ve … Continued

Mary Meeker’s Internet Trends Report spawns predictable cliches

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Mary Meeker’s latest 197-slide Internet Trends report is not bullshit. While some of the stats on the slides are questionable, overall it’s a pretty interesting, international grab-bag of facts. My issue is with what comes next — media and analyst cliché predictions based on those facts. In the tech world, predictions are predictable. There’s a cliché for each stage of technology … Continued