A Pointless Phrase That Everyone on the Planet Abuses

ClicheYou hear it all the time in speeches, announcements, Facebook posts and every awards presentation that’s ever occurred:

  • “I’d like to thank …”
  • “I’d like to introduce …”
  • “I’d like to congratulate …”

Practically everyone does it, which is reason enough to be suspicious of the phrase and want to purge it from our usage. It verges on cliche, like “At the end of the day” and “For all intents and purposes.” Just meaningless filler that we come to rely on. Something we reflexively say because it sounds natural.

But it only sounds natural because we’ve heard it a thousand times from a thousand people.

More than a meaningless cliche, though, the “I’d like to” construction is passive and silly. Are we begging someone’s permission? Is anyone really going to object? And it delays the action. If you’d like to thank someone, just thank them — stop talking about thanking them. Show, don’t tell!

Here are some simple ways to get around the “I’d like to” habit:

  • I’m thankful to …
  • I’m grateful to …
  • Thank you to …
  • Introducing …
  • Our next speaker is …
  • Congratulations to …
  • We congratulate …

And substituting “want” for “like” is just another version of the same problem, by the way.

Leave a Reply