Nonprofit Arts Lingo Ready for Expunging…and Words to Use Instead

Subscription Season Tickets, Packages [“Subscription” = “Newspaper” = “Dying Industry”]

Audience Fans, Partners [Audiences hear, fans root, partners invest]

Watch Participate, Enjoy, Love [See “Audience”]

Us, we It, the [“We” requires “They”]

“Play a part” [Any non-cutesy non-cliche]

Spectacular, incredible, fabulous, gifted, talented, great, wonderful, delightful, fantastic, poignant, moving [Overused and does not describe the event – unless literally (big 3-ring circuses, for example, are spectacular); it also insults readers by dictating how they should feel]

Witty Funny, hilarious [“Witty” makes some feel as though the work is above their intellectual pay grade]

“Lost Ticket Insurance” [No one cares]

Engage, enlighten, educate Brighten, connect, involve [see “Witty”]

“Something for Everyone” [Never use this phrase. What your organization does is NOT for everyone; therefore, it’s a lie.  It also implies that your organization is profit-seeking.  Who would donate to McDonald’s?]


One response

  1. Good, thank you, wish I could say I haven’t used ANY of those words or phrases in the last year but . . . and as soon as we banish them from our vocabulary, up shoots another word we become fond of and that takes over. And I guarantee you’re going to get tired of “participate” really soon!


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