- On November 27, 2018
“In the past, chief executives might have waxed about paradigm shifts and bleeding-edge technology, but ‘journey’ has lately been the go-to word in corporatespeak.”
That line appeared in a recent Wall Street Journal article poking fun at the overuse of journey, which, according to the report, has appeared in the transcripts of 4,266 conference calls and events in just 10 months.
Everybody seems to be on a journey, not just companies and their executives, but patients and customers as well. Problem is when you use any word too much, it becomes a cliché—and the target of ridicule.
I’m not saying to jettison journey altogether—it’s too entrenched in our lexicon for that—but use it judiciously and look for opportunities to use other, equally apt, words. Here are a few suggestions based on material I’ve seen lately.
- A medical device company writes about a patient whose “journey with chronic pain” started after a car accident left her with severe nerve damage. I’d go with experience.
- According to an article in The New York Times, a venture capitalist went on “a weeklong journey into the Chinese technology scene.” The reporter could have described it as a foray or venture.
- “People who try to quit smoking,” according to a health report, “experience a rollercoaster of emotions along their journey.” Along the way could work there.
- A CEO titles his companywide letter about a cost-saving initiative, “Funding the Journey to Fuel Growth.” I would say Funding the Road to Growth.
SoulCycle is big on the journey, too. Everyone who rides there has one. For the record, mine is 1622 rides.
That’s no journey. That’s a lot of [expletive] hard work.