Do you ever find yourself going back over audio or video and finding words you hate, words you should stop using?
The average sports broadcast lasts around three hours. The average words spoken per minute is around 150. That means you’re saying around 27,000 (probably more in most sports) per broadcast…so there’s bound to be some stinkers.
However some are more agregious and offending than others and serve as nothing more than a crutch and covering for some bad prep. Here’s four phrases you should stop using on air:
adjective. causing or inducing awe; inspiring an overwhelming feeling of reverence, admiration, or fear
Used correctly, this can be a great word. What makes this one of the words you should stop using on air is the frequency that it’s used. Not every play is ‘awesome’, not every lateral pass or slam dunk is awesome. Look or listen back on the last time you used that word, did the play truly induce awe? Did it provide an overwhelming feeling of admiration?
Probably not…it’s sports, something at its core doesn’t matter all that much. What can you use instead? Astonished, stunning, stellar.
adjective. too dubious or improbable to be believed
Another word that, in the right circumstance, is appropriate for sports. Tiger Woods chip in at the Masters in 2005 is probably a good example of something “unbelievable”.
Try and explain that to someone who hasn’t seen it. “Tiger chips from off the green, 30 foot above the hole and it rolls back in.”
A breakaway goal with a nice deke, a long pass or a good catch, hardly “unbelievable”. So what can you use instead? Outlandish, staggering, amazing, miraculous.
adjective. not possible; unable to be, exist, happen, etc.
The shot that sneaks through a goaltender from the goal line, the hail mary at the end of the game, the pitcher hitting a walk off grand slam. None of these things are impossible.
By definition, for something to be impossible, it must not be able to exist…until it does. There are many examples of this in racing, both track and swimming.
A great example of this was the four minute mile, or the sub-15 minute 1500m freestyle….or most recently the two hour marathon. All feats that were thought to be impossible, until they happened.
That touchdown pass, or the goal line shot is not impossible…so what should you use instead? Improbable, absurd, unreasonable, rare, unlikely.
We’ve all guilty of these crutch words. But at the end of the day, these are words you should stop using on air, stop leaning on to describe a highlight or unusual moment.