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Banishing Overused Words

I recently read an article that summarized the most overused phrases in the creation of marketing and public relations material for products and services from the technology industry. The debate was over the appropriate use of “solutions” and whether there was really any meaning to that term at all. As someone who has to write A LOT of copy about technology, I’m going to argue that there is still a place for solutions. But in the same breath, I’m going to nominate a new phrase that I’m seeing used and abused lately: “take it to the next level.”

Unless you are riding on an elevator, what exactly does take it to the next level mean? Unless the product, service or experience you are describing is provided with different levels or versions, I’m having a really hard time validating the use of this phrase. Just today I received an email campaign from an e-marketing solution provider who wanted to help me take my frequency campaigns to the next level. I’m left wondering, what level would that be, precisely?

I believe what they mean is that they want to help me make it better and my challenge to the writer is to explain to me just how they are going to do that. This week I’m advocating that we banish the use of “take it to the next level” and work harder to find language that really communicates our intent behind making improvements in product, service or experience.

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