The Banned List Buzzsaw

John Rentoul

tbl 186x300 The Banned List BuzzsawMany thanks to the good people at 1238 for creating “Buzzsaw“, an online cliché stripper. They have used a selection of words and phrases from my Banned List to build a database of unacceptable buzzwords and jargon.

All you do is copy some text – a news release from a rival public relations company, for example, or a Nick Clegg speech – go to the Buzzsaw website, paste the text into the box, and click “Buzz it”. Unacceptable words are then highlighted and crossed out in red.


I tried it with the Deputy Prime Minister’s latest speech, and it crossed out “dynamic”, “resilient”, “in terms of”, “transformative” and “direction of travel”. Apart from a glitch, which crossed out the “Brit” in “Britain” each time, it is a triumph.

1,238 kmh. It’s the speed of sound, you know.

Or, if you want a permanent Banned List angel to watch over your internet, you can add an extension to Chrome that will highlight words and phrases from the List in pink on any web pages. For which many thanks to Andrew Regan.

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  • David

    This is a great little tool. Ideally, this would be compulsory for PRs. A fair few people would benefit from using the buzzsaw before sending emails!

  • Adam Snow

    Very dissapointed that the word ‘neo’ isn’t on there though

  • John Rentoul

    Good point. I think “neo-” should be banned before anything familiar – liberal, con, fascist and so on – but neologisms are permitted: Neo Labour, Neo-Gaitskellite, Neo Order and so on.

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