Flesh Out, New Friends

Don’t let the title confuse you–I’m not fleshing out new friends, whatever that might mean. This entry covers two issues. (By the way, how many of  you read that sentence and thought that it was a post that covers two problems, not two topics, because of our obsessive use of issues to mean problems?) The first topic is the overuse of the expression flesh out, and the second is the introduction to a few of our new blog friends.

Flesh out has become the most popular way of saying to give substance to or to provide details for in the world of business. In other words, we think of ideas in general terms first; then, we flesh them out later. For instance, we typically say That’s a great idea for a new product; let’s meet tomorrow to flesh out the details. It’s used at the exclusion of nearly every other possible way of expressing the same idea, many of which would be more articulate and thorough. No one meets to discuss an idea more thoroughly; they meet to flesh out the idea. No one wants to analyze the idea, but they most certainly want to flesh it out.

In other words, not only is it a pet peeve because of its overuse, but it’s also a pet peeve because it’s inarticulate and ineffective. It’s probably a good example of template talk, a term that I first heard from a commenter to this blog about the term pushback.

–Paul

Paul’s book–Literally, the Best Language Book Ever

Sherry’s Grammar List

New Blog Friends

Our goal is not to have the biggest blogroll but, rather, to have a varied, interesting blogroll. With that in mind, we thought that we’d introduce you to a few of our new blog friends. We’ve already introduced you to Frume Sarah’s World. If you get a chance, also check out Mighty Red PenGrammar Police, and Watch Yer Language.

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