Washington Post’s Outlook section avoids these words and phrases

Washington Post Outlook section editor Carlos Lozada writes: “After I saw the ‘iconic’ post, I thought you’d enjoy this running list that we keep in Outlook of words and phrases we should avoid. (I just added ‘iconic’ to the list.)”

THINGS WE DO NOT SAY IN OUTLOOK

At first glance
As a society (or, “as a nation”)
Observers
TK is not alone
Pundits say (or “Critics say”)
The American people (unless in a quote)
The narrative (unless referring to a style of writing)
Probe (as substitute for “investigation”)
A rare window (unless we’re talking about a real window that is in fact rare)
Begs the question (unless used properly – and so rarely used properly that not worth it)
Be that as it may letters
It is important to note that
Needless to say
[Anything] 2.0 (or 3.0, or 4.0…)
At a crossroads
Outside the box/Out of the box
TK is a favorite Washington parlor game
Yes, Virginia, there is a TK
Underscored
Midwife (as a verb that does not involve childbirth)
Call it TK
Pity the poor TK
Imagine (as the first word in your lede)
Palpable sense of relief
Rorschach test (unless it is a real one)
The Other
Effort (as a verb)
Gestalt/Zeitgeist
Little-noticed (that just means the writer hadn’t noticed it)
Hastily-convened
Ignominious end
Tightly knit community
Rise of the 24-hour news cycle (it rose a long time ago)
Remains to be seen
Feeding frenzy/feeding the frenzy
Double down
Dons the mantle of
Hot-button issue
Face-saving compromise
The argument goes (or its cousin, “the thinking goes”)
Shutter (as a verb)
Paradigm shift (in journalism, all paradigms are shifting)
Unlikely revolutionary (in journalism, all revolutionaries are unlikely)
Unlikely reformer (in journalism, all reformers are unlikely)
Grizzled veteran (in journalism, all veterans are grizzled – unless they are “seasoned”)
Manicured lawns (in journalism, all nice lawns are manicured)
Rose from obscurity (in journalism, all rises are from obscurity)
Dizzying array (in journalism, all arrays make one dizzy)
Withering criticism (in journalism, all criticism is withering)
Predawn raid (in journalism, all raids are predawn)
Sparked debate (or “Raised questions”)
Ironic Capitalizations Implying Unimportance Of Things Others Consider Important
Provides fresh details
But reality/truth is more complicated (oversimplify, then criticize the oversimplification)
Scarred by war
Shines a spotlight on (unless there is a real spotlight that really shines)
TK is no panacea (nothing is)
No silver bullet
Shifting dynamics
Situation is fluid (code for “I have no idea what is going on”)
Partisans on both sides
Charm offensive
Pushback
Going forward
Stinging rebuke
Mr. TK goes to Washington (unless a reference to the actual movie)
The proverbial TK (“proverbial” doesn’t excuse the cliché, just admits you used it knowingly)
Fevered speculation
Oft-cited
Iconic
Growing body of evidence
Increasingly (unless we prove in the story that something is in fact increasing)
Tapped (as substitute for “selected” or “appointed)
Any “not-un” formulation (as in “not unsurprising”)
There, I said it (more self-important than “voicey”)
To be sure

* Here’s the story behind the “Things We Do Not Say” list


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