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Bill Leslie's Carolina Conversations

Words that make you scream

Posted October 21, 2009 7:53 a.m. EDT
Updated October 21, 2009 6:53 p.m. EDT

“Write it right, stupid!” Those words still ring in my head after all these years. A UNC journalism professor coined that phrase.

I heard a phrase this week that would make that professor cringe: “The apartment unit was totally destroyed.” That’s redundant. Just say “destroyed.” Totally is totally unnecessary.

I heard another one come from my own lips recently during an ad lib: “It’s a major milestone for the university.” No need to say “major.” A milestone marks a major moment all by itself.

“Only time will tell” is another example of weak writing. That’s one of those musty phrases from the cliché closet.

What are some of the phrases, words and expressions that make you scream?

I’m not going to count my chickens before they hatch because only time will tell how many examples we get today.