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Mind virus

Updated: Apr 12, 2022

Let’s continue the conversation about language, and my desire to improve communication by eliminating trite words and phrases that are also known as mind viruses, which cause repeated usage even if incorrect.

No mind viruses have been more immune to healing than “as well” and “thank you in advance.” The former is the wrong choice, and the latter is redundant.

In the last decade, we decided “as well” sounds more enlightened than “also” or “besides,” the correct choices that have zero credibility now. All of a sudden, “as well” was popping up everywhere: in meetings, in presentations, in everyday conversation, and even in text messages. As a mind virus, “as well” has remarkable staying power.

“Thank you in advance.”, the second most powerful mind virus, is grammatically incorrect. When “thank you” is spoken or written before an appreciated action, including “in advance” underscores the time frame unnecessarily, which makes this combination of words redundant.

Redundant language and incorrect word choice prevent optimal communication, which increases customer engagement.

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