Tag: linguistics

Three Words You Should Never Use

There are three words that are often used in an introduction that are actually the wrong thing to say.

by Bill Hood

Today, I watched a webinar from a very popular writing coach that gets over 1-million page views a month on his website. He is an author of New York Times bestseller, as well as Wall Street Journal, USA and Amazon. He worked in the publishing industry as the Chairman and CEO of a large publishing company for many years before striking out on his own 12 years ago to teach others how to get their work finished faster and published. His introduction ruined it for me!

The moderator had just spent 5 minutes building up the audience with the background and credentials of the speaker, which were illustrious. Then he stated, "So, without further ado, allow me to introduce...”

I know this is an oft used phrase when introducing someone. Well educated emcees, moderators, and hosts use it during their introductions. Perhaps you have used the phrase in the past. However, you need to know that it is incorrect and is actually demeaning to the speaker.

The problem lies in the word "ado", which connotes triviality or fuss, especially about something that is unimportant, as if to say that everything you just said was not important. Or, it could be taken as if what follows is not important, if one were to use the original meaning from late Middle English (originally in the sense ‘action, business’): from northern Middle English at do ‘to do.’ In this instance, it is like saying, "without further action or business, let's proceed to the trivial section of the event."

And, no it is not "adieu", which means goodbye. Which is poor English, meaning, “without further goodbyes.”

So, please, let's cease using the phrase as an introduction. Quit implying that what you’ve said before introducing the speaker was useless and a delay that wasted the time of everyone in the audience.

If you can’t stop yourself using "Without further" as a transition phrase it would be better to say, “Without further delay.”

You should always deliver the introduction with the importance it deserves, pause, and then simply say, “Now, I present…

The phrase became popular from the the title of a Shakespeare play, "Much Ado About Nothing." In the play, the phrase implies that there was, "Much fuss about nothing!" It seems that many people think that by quoting Shakespeare it makes them sound more educated, when in this instance it works against them.

While the phrase is common in the United States, it remains incorrect, and should never be used. It tells the audience, at least those who are familiar with linguistics, that the person making the statement is not well-educated.