Today I asked a few of my colleagues (designers, subs and writers) for the bugbear words and phrases they hate to see appear in the pages of our publication. Here's a selection - and note that I don't necessarily agree with all of them:
- Together with. No! Just use 'with' or 'and'.
- Interestingly. No! If it's going in the magazine, of course it should be interesting - you don't need to tell the readers so.
- Of course. No! If it's obvious, why are you mentioning it? If it's not obvious, don't make readers feel small for not knowing something. Is it a sign of insecurity on the part of the writer?
- Back in (1996, for example). No! Just put 'in 1996'.
- Explains. Especially in interviews. For example: "We entered this sector because it is growing fast," he explains. It makes the interviewer look as if they're a bit simple.
- Smiles. For example: "It's a great place to work," he smiles.
Regarding the last one, I don't know whether it is better or worse than 'he said smilingly'. And today I came across 'he concluded indicatively', which is slightly too grandiose...