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FranklinCovey Style Guide: For Business and Technical Communication

This excerpt from FranklinCovey Style Guide: For Business and Technical Communication covers cliches, colons, color, commas, compound words, conjunctions, contractions, dashes, decimals, editing and proofreading, and electronic mail.
This chapter is from the book


A bad scene

a can of worms

acid test

active consideration

add insult to injury

agree to disagree

all things considered

all too soon

along these lines

among those present

ample opportunity

an end run

armed to the teeth

as a matter of fact

as the crow flies

at a loss for words

at the end of the day

attached hereto

at this point in time

auspicious moment

avoid it like the plague

awaiting further orders

Back at the ranch

back to the drawing board

bag and baggage

bated breath

beat a hasty retreat

be at loggerheads

beginning of the end

benefit of the doubt

best-laid plans

better late than never

better left unsaid

beyond the shadow of a doubt

bite the bullet

bitter end

blissful ignorance

block out

bloody but unbowed

bolt from the blue

bone of contention

bottom line

brain dump

bright and shining faces

broad daylight

brook no delay

brute force

budding genius

built-in safeguards

burning question

burning the midnight oil

busy as a bee

by leaps and bounds

by the same token

Calm before the storm

capacity crowd

cast a pall

casual encounter

chain reaction

charged with emotion

checkered career/past

cherished belief

chief cook and bottle washer

circumstances beyond my control

city fathers

clean bill of health

clear as crystal/day

colorful display

come full circle

common/garden variety

confirming our conversation

conservative estimate

considered opinion

consigned to oblivion

conspicuous by its absence

contents noted

controlling factor

cool as a cucumber

crying need

curiously enough

cut a long story short

cut down in his prime

Dark horse

date with destiny

days are numbered

dazed condition

dead as a doornail

deadly earnest

deafening crash

deficits mount

deliberate falsehood

depths of despair

diamond in the rough

dig in your heels

discreet silence

do not hesitate to

doom is sealed

doomed to disappointment

dramatic new move

drastic action

drink the Kool-Aid

due consideration

dynamic personality

Each and every

easier said than done

eight-hundred-pound gorilla

eloquent silence

eminently successful

enclosed herewith

engage in conversation

enjoyable occasion

entertaining high hopes of

epic struggle

equal to the occasion

errand of mercy

even tenor

exception that proves the rule

existing conditions

express one’s appreciation

eyeball to eyeball

Failed to dampen spirits

fair sex

fall on bad times

fall on deaf ears

far and wide

far be it from me

far cry

fateful day

fate worse than death

feedback loop

feel free to

feel vulnerable

festive occasion

few and far between

few well-chosen words

fickle finger of fate

final analysis

fine-tune one’s plans

finishing touches

fire on all cylinders

fit as a fiddle

food for thought

fools rush in

foregone conclusion

foul play

from the sublime to the ridiculous

Gala occasion

generation gap

generous to a fault

gild the lily

give the green light to

glowing cheeks

go down the drain

goes without saying

goodly number

good team player

grateful acknowledgement

grave concern

green with envy

grim reaper

grind to a halt

Hale and hearty

hands across the sea

happy pair

hastily summoned

have the privilege

heartfelt thanks/appreciation

heart of the matter

heart’s desire

heated argument

heave a sigh of relief

height of absurdity

herculean efforts

hook, line, and sinker

hook or crook

hope springs eternal

hot pursuit

house divided

how does that grab you?

hunker down

hurriedly retraced his steps

Ignominious retreat

ignorance is bliss


immaculately attired

immeasurably superior

impenetrable mystery

in close proximity

inextricably linked

infinite capacity

inflationary spiral

innocent bystander

in no uncertain terms

in reference/regard to

in short supply

internecine strife

in the limelight

in the nick of time

in the same boat with

in the twinkling of an eye

in this day and age

into full swing

iron out the difficulty

irony of fate

irreducible minimum

irreparable/irreplaceable loss

it dawned on me

Just desserts

just for openers

Keep options open

knock your socks off

Labor of love

lashed out at

last analysis

last but not least

last-ditch effort

leaps and bounds

leave no stone unturned

leaves much to be desired

leave up in the air

lend a helping hand

let well enough alone

like a bolt from the blue

limped into port

line of least resistance

little woman

lit up like a Christmas tree

lock, stock, and barrel

logic of events

long arm of the law

low-hanging fruit

Make good one’s escape

man the barricades

marked contrast

masterpiece of understatement

matter of life and death

mecca for travelers

method to/in his madness

milk of human kindness

miraculous escape

moment of truth

momentous decision/occasion

monumental traffic jam

moot point

more in sorrow than in anger

more sinned against than sinning

more than meets the eye

more the merrier

motley crew

Narrow escape

nearest and dearest

needs no introduction

never a dull moment

never before in the history of

nipped in the bud

none the worse for wear

no sooner said than done

not wisely but too well

One and the same

ongoing dialogue

on more than one occasion

on unimpeachable authority

open kimono

order out of chaos

other things being equal

outer directed

overwhelming odds

own worst enemy

Pales into insignificance

paralyzed with fright

paramount importance

part and parcel

patience of Job

pay the piper

peer group

pet peeve

pick and choose

pie in the sky

pinpoint the cause

pipe dream

place in the sun

play hardball

play it by ear

point with pride

poor but honest

powder keg

powers that be

pretty kettle of fish

pros and cons

proud heritage

pull one’s weight

push the envelope

Rack and ruin

ravishing beauty

red-letter day

regrettable incident

reigns supreme

reliable source

remedy the situation

right on

riot-torn area

ripe old age

round of applause

rude habitation

Sadder but wiser

saw the light of day

scathing sarcasm

sea of faces

seat of learning

second to none

seething mass of humanity

select few

selling like hotcakes

shattering effect

shift into high gear

shot in the arm

sigh of relief

silence broken only by

silhouetted against the sky

simple life

skeleton in the closet

snug as a bug in a rug

social amenities

something hitting the fan

spectacular event

spirited debate

steaming jungle

stick out like a sore thumb

stick to one’s guns

straight and narrow path

structure one’s day

such is life

sum and substance

superhuman effort

supreme sacrifice

sweat of his brow

sweeping changes

swim with the sharks

Take the bull by the horns

teaching moment

telling effect

tender mercies

terror stricken

thanking you in advance

there’s the rub

think outside the box

this day and age

those present

throw a monkey wrench

throw a party

throw caution to the winds

thrust of your report

thunderous applause

tie that binds

time immemorial

time of one’s life

tongue in cheek

too funny for words

too numerous to mention

tough it out/through

tower of strength

trials and tribulations

trust implicitly

tumultuous applause

Uncharted seas

unprecedented situation

untimely end

untiring efforts

up tight

Vale of tears

vanish into thin air

viable alternative

Watery grave

wax eloquent/poetic

weaker sex

wear and tear

wend one’s way

whirlwind tour

wide open spaces

words fail to express

word to the wise

work one’s wiles

worse for wear

wrought havoc

X-ray vision/view

Yea verily yea

yeasty blend/mix

yellow journalism

yen for . . .

Young Turk

Zero hour

zest for life

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