8 Unprofessional Words and Phrases to AVOID

lady covering mouth with handWhether you’re addressing the board of directors, calling members, or emailing colleagues, it’s important to convey your message professionally.

You already know the obvious no-nos words – swear words. Here are eight more words and phrases you may not have realized diminish your credibility and dilute your message.

  • “To be honest” or “Honestly”
    Is the rest of what you’re saying untrue?
  • “Always” or “Never”
    There is no such thing as absolutes.
  • “Just” or “Kind of” or “Hopefully”
    It weakens your message and sounds half-hearted.
  • “Really” or “Very”
    A conversational crutch that is vague and unnecessary.
  • “Stuff” or “Things”
    Be specific about what you’re discussing.


Bonus – Frequently Misused Terms (and how to use them correctly):

  • “Irregardless” vs. “Regardless”
    “Irregardless” is a double negative so it actually means ‘without without regard.’
    “Regardless” means ‘without regard’ (think: less regard).
  • “i.e.” or “e.g.”
    “i.e.” means ‘in other words’ and “e.g.” means ‘for example’ (remember it as: example given).


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