Friday Wrap #34 – Cliché

I dislike overused phrases, buzzwords, and corporate speak. It sounds trite. The phrases are everywhere, and it’s bull.

  • Living my best life
  • Stepping out of my comfort zone
  • Low-hanging Fruit
  • Team
  • High-level
  • Synergy

Social media channels are packed full of these words and many like them. Annoyingly overused drivel. Who uses these words? Corporate types. I don’t go to my kids and tell them to take a high-level view of their homework assignments. Nonsense.

Three things have worked for me: Stephen King, Jeff Butera, and Hemingway.

  • I love Stephen King’s non-horror fiction – not a fan of horror stuff. His best book however, On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft. This book should be taught in every high school English class. (Go to a real bookstore, not Amazon, and buy a copy. I like Perfect Books in Ottawa – – If it’s not in stock, they will order it for you.)
  • Jeff Butera’s Write Like You Talk is a must-read in the broadcast world, but it works for the writing people too. One place I struggle still in writing is active/passive writing. Butera cuts through with his guide. (
  • Hemingway, or more aptly, the Hemingway Editor. This app is $20 in the Apple App Store, and there is a free website that does the same thing. Write in this, or copy and paste your writing into it, and the app will highlight the issues. Complex sentences, overuse of adverbs, passive voice, you name it. Using Ernest Hemingway’s belief that writing should be accessible for every reader, it helps simplify your writing to make it clearer, direct, and readable. Best $20 I’ve spent on an app. (

Three things…

Something to read – Justin Ling goes into detail about the SS Officer controversy embarrassment that has befallen the Canadian Government and the now-former Speaker of the House.

Bug-eyed and Shameless – About the SS Officer in the Gallery
M?rti?š Kapr?ns pointed out the window of the cafe, across the street and through the park, to a towering statue in the middle of Riga. Kapr?ns is a scholar of Latvian nationalism and its social memory. He is fascinated, he explained, by “the potential of using history as a source of conflict…

Something to watch – Yan Can Cook. This and Wok with Yan are nostalgia cooking videos from my childhood.

Something to listen to – 1979 by the Smashing Pumpkins.

Last word: “Happiness in intelligent people is the rarest thing I know.” – Ernest Hemingway.