24 lazy corporate verbs you need to fire

by Laura Hale Brockway

A common problem with corporate writing is that it’s full of lazy, meaningless verbs. Utilize, implement, leverage—these words litter our writing and weaken our message.

“We are leveraging our core competencies to meet our customers needs.”

I stopped reading when I saw the word “leveraging.”

The verb is the powerhouse of your sentence. Choose clear, active verbs instead of throwaway ones. I hereby call for a ban on the following verbs from corporate writing, press releases, social media, and websites. Try these alternatives instead.


Instead of            Try

accompany              go with
ballpark                   estimate
commence               begin
consolidate              join
dialogue                  talk
disambiguate           clear up
disseminate             give, send
endeavor                 try
enumerate              count
facilitate                  lead, help
ideate                      think
implement               carry out, start
incentivize               motivate
interface                  talk
leverage                  use, take advantage of
modify                    change
operationalize          start, use
optimize                  improve
peruse                    read
promulgate              issue, publish
regarding                about
renumerate             pay
synergize                work together
utlize                      use


Readers, what verbs would you ban?


This article was originally published on Ragan Communication’s PR Daily.

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