Ever written a press release with the words eatery, foodie, nom nom or unctuous in it? Go and stand in the corner, as these are terrible clichés which are the language version of nails down a blackboard, according to the BBC.
On Sunday’s Food Programme on Radio 4, the presenter Sheila Dillon revealed that the show’s (admittedly unscientific) poll on social media flagged these terms as Britain’s most disliked. I couldn’t agree more.
As someone who has written and edited features about food and restaurants for years, I know how hard it is to find synonyms for the most common words, but I’d rather the language was plain and business-like than actively annoying.
Worst of all, and I was glad to hear it mentioned on the programme, is “food porn”. Those who know me will be rolling their eyes in recognition – its appearance would kick off a rant about the business of pornography and why it is a lazy and damaging term. (By the by, it’s interesting that Nigella Lawson last week chose to remove the word slut from her recipes.)
Of course, journalists are lucky – their copy goes through production staff and senior editors who will usually excise clichés and terms which grind the audience’s gears; not all PRs have that luxury. I’ve been known to hand out ‘style sheets’ to PR agencies and marketing staff.
What Lisa Thinks…
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