“Thanks in advance”
This demeaning management phrase, often accompanying some unwanted assignment, is the polite corporate way of saying, “You’d better do this terrible thing or I’ll eat your pay cheque.”
Instead: Cut to the chase with, “I know you don’t want to do this… in advance.”
“It is what it is”
This desperate filler phrase is a longer version of “whatever,” and a shorter version of “I have nothing helpful to contribute, but don’t want to stop talking yet.” Weakest. Advice. Ever.
Instead: Memorise this clever-sounding T.S. Eliot line: “If you aren’t in over your head, how do you know how tall you are?”
“At the end of the day”
This perspective-seeking cliché sounds even worse than cousins “all in all” and “when push comes to shove,” particularly because it’s used at all hours of the day.
Instead: Say “ultimately” and you’ll sound more like a classy Bond villain instead of a 19th-century factory worker.