Most of us hardly notice good writing when we see it. That's because, often enough, it doesn't declare itself. It's as smooth as ice, as easy to swallow as a cold soda on an August day. But what about bad writing? Think of over-sweet fruity candy with a fake taste. Candy that sticks to your cheeks.
One component of bad writing is that is is often trite and commonplace. It may employ TRIGGER PHRASES that are cloyingly obvious or dull.
Let's start with a brief list of "banish me" phrases. I'm sure you can add others you've seen and scorned.
In the press... those terrible story wrap-ups on TV and radio news - the "duh!" factor:
"And so it seems that the conflict in Gaza is has not nearly reached its conclusion."
"Wall Street continues to confuse its investors after another down day."
"Corruption appears to be rampant among the rebel forces."
"It may be years before the courts determine who is to blame for this sordid mess."
"It is likely that we will not see a resolution to the tense political situation anytime soon."
Setting the stage for a news story or editorial:
"In today's difficult economy ..."
"Facing legal and ethical challenges from her opponents..."
"Today, more than ever, businesses face competitive pressures (blah blah blah)"
"This deal helps Wall Street, but what about Main Street?" (Never, anyone, never, write this one again. And don't even consider rephrasing it.)