The English language is evolving all the time. Who would have thought five years ago that so many of us would start communicating our feelings via little yellow faces? For many young people, emojis have replaced actual language on social media. Thankfully, I think there’s still some way to go before we’re all sending out emoji press releases.
Language is so important in PR and using the right terminology can make or break a pitch or a media relations sell-in. In fact, we think language is so important that we decided to list a few commonly misused words and phrases we’ve heard recently that made us laugh.
Can you be more pacific?
Can I be like the biggest ocean on earth? No. But I can be more SPECIFIC.
Can we hone in on a solution?
Nope. You should ‘hone’ your communication skills, because the word you’re really looking for is ‘home’.
We need to get ahead of the kerb
Why? Are you going to be run over? You actually mean ‘get ahead of the curve’ and that’s a horrible marketing phrase anyway, so stop it.
I won a fiver on the lottery, which was fortuitous
No, it wasn’t. You bought a ticket, so winning wasn’t unplanned which is what fortuitous means. You mean fortunate. And why not share that fiver so we can both be fortunate?!
It’s like rain on your wedding day. It’s the good advice that you just didn’t take. Isn’t it ironic?
Ok, so we totally stole this one from Alanis Morissette’s hit song ‘Ironic’, which we blame for confusing lots of people because it is littered with terrible examples such as the above. Irony is actually something happening that is contrary to what is expected. So the only ironic thing about Morissette’s song is that you expect it to contain examples of irony and it doesn’t.
I should of waited
This one hurts us. Of and have are not interchangeable. Should have indicates a missed obligation, for example: Sorry, I should have called you to tell you I was running late.
I would literally rather die
We blame those pesky Americans for this one. American teen shows have the lead characters regularly declaring things like ‘I would literally rather die than wear that dress’ when of course they mean figuratively speaking. Surely nobody would want to die over a dress?