in terms of
Originally this expression was used to explain precise quantifiable relationships: “We prefer to measure our football team’s success in terms of the number of fans attending rather than the number of games won.” But it has for a long time now been greatly overused in all kinds of vague ways, often clumsily.
Here are some awkward uses followed by recommended alternatives:
“We have to plan soon what to do in terms of Thanksgiving.” (for)
“What are we going to do in terms of paying
these bills?” (about)
“A little chili powder goes a long way in terms
of spicing up any dish.” (toward)
“What do you like in terms of movies?”
(What kind of movies do you like?)
Two books on sale through the end of December—just $12 for Common Errors in English Usage and $17 for Far from the Madding Gerund:
We bid farewell to the podcast some time ago, but you may still listen to all the episodes you may have missed, including our 2017 Thanksgiving special.