Words to Avoid

The following words shouldn’t be used in your Wikinvest article, as they’re a sign of poor writing / form. Many of these words and phrases are found in analyst reports, but they don’t communicate in the simple, direct language that our readers will appreciate.

  • Experience – (to experience an increase in revenue). Instead, say “revenue increased”
  • Solutions – solutions are answers on the SAT, not products / services sold by companies
  • Derived – A derivation is a mathematical operation; a company does not “derive” revenues, it earns / makes them.
  • Utilize – Utilize “use” instead
  • Fulfill customer’s needs or Services a customer – Avoid. This is either jargon, or gross.
  • Allows – lets is preferred
  • Monetize – use “sell” or other word instead
  • Could, may, or should – as in “something could happen” or “something may occur”. Anything “could” happen. These words usually indicate either bullshit, non-committal forecasting, or sloppy research. Instead, tell the reader a fact – what led you to believe that this something “could happen”, and let the reader judge for him or herself.
  • Engaged in – unless your company is getting married, you shouldn’t say it is “engaged in” anything – it makes something, sells something, or something else.
  • Profit (as a noun) – this is ambiguous. Profits can refer to net income or gross margin.
  • Facilitate, facilitating – this is a nonsense word. Replace
  • Market Leader – this term is meaningless. Does it mean they are the highest quality? The largest revenue? The most profit? The most customers? Instead, specify which of the above you mean and cite figures to defend.
  • Enjoys – companies do not have feelings, and they do not “enjoy 40% sales growth”, nor do they enjoy market share growth or margin expansion. “Sales grew 40%” is sufficient.
  • Recent, Recently, Current, Currently, Now – instead specify the time frame. IE, instead of “the company recently launched a new product,” say “the company launched a new product in Q4 2007.”
  • Really, Very, Extremely, Major, Extensive and other non-specific modifiers – rather than say something is very efficient, the company has grown extremely quickly, etc., delete the modifier and specify exactly how efficient it is or how quickly the company has grown.
  • Must or Should – as in, a company “must” do something or “should” do something… rephrase. You should not be giving management advice about how to run the business. Instead, describe the situation as it currently is and let readers decide.
  • Vision – should not be used unless it’s referring to eyesight. Example of improper use: “Management’s Vision for the company is….”
  • A Variety of…” or “A diversity of…” This usually tells you nothing. If it’s important to enumerate all the different items that make up “a variety”, then do so. Just saying “there’s a bunch of stuff” doesn’t tell me anything.
  • Leverage (used as a verb) – Leverage refers to debt. Any other use of the word “leverage” is gobbledygook.
  • Will or is expected to…” - Who is saying that something “will” or “is expected to” happen? You should make the source clear…and nine times out of ten, it’s “The company says it will” or “The company has said it plans to…” Or, “xx analysts say that the market will increase by 10% in 2008”
Wikinvest © 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012. Use of this site is subject to express Terms of Service, Privacy Policy, and Disclaimer. By continuing past this page, you agree to abide by these terms. Any information provided by Wikinvest, including but not limited to company data, competitors, business analysis, market share, sales revenues and other operating metrics, earnings call analysis, conference call transcripts, industry information, or price targets should not be construed as research, trading tips or recommendations, or investment advice and is provided with no warrants as to its accuracy. Stock market data, including US and International equity symbols, stock quotes, share prices, earnings ratios, and other fundamental data is provided by data partners. Stock market quotes delayed at least 15 minutes for NASDAQ, 20 mins for NYSE and AMEX. Market data by Xignite. See data providers for more details. Company names, products, services and branding cited herein may be trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective owners. The use of trademarks or service marks of another is not a representation that the other is affiliated with, sponsors, is sponsored by, endorses, or is endorsed by Wikinvest.
Powered by MediaWiki