A dead simple way to improve your writing

Why does anyone think using the phrase “dead simple” is remotely acceptable?


DishwasherNow is the dead simple way to have a brand new dishwasher delivered to your door from iPhone.

Is “dead” an adjective for “simple”, which has morphed into a noun but has also ceased functioning in this world?

Or is this statement implying that the service is so easy to use that the walking dead can even order their dishwasher from the iPhone they are carrying in their lifeless hands?

Why can’t we just use “easy” or “simple”?

DishwasherNow is the easy way to have a brand new dishwasher delivered to your door.

See how much better that reads? You don’t have to be a rockstar engineer or ninja growth hacker to understand what this phrase means.

EDIT: I’m on the losing end of this battle (from Google Books Ngram Viewer):

Dead Simple usage in Google Ngram Viewer


We offer various different services to our customers.

The phrase various different is one I hear often amongst my coworkers. It doesn’t bother me in the least (unlike, say, irregardless, which to me sounds like chewing with your mouth open). I always assumed that it was a phrase that was isolated to the Mediafly office.

Imagine my surprise when, yesterday, I hear a customer use the phrase various different in conversation. I spent the next minute or so pondering how our phrases spread like viruses throughout our society; most die quickly, a few thrive within small circles, and a handful permeate our culture entirely. I then snapped out of it and continued listening to the customer.