In the business world you’ll see statements like “we need to execute on the strategy we planned.” “Execute” all by itself can mean “carry out.” The “on” is completely unnecessary.
Perhaps these people are influenced by another meaning of the word “execute”: to carry out a sentence of death. Are they thinking there is something too final about “execute” unless they add “on” to make it active?
Most of the time “act on” or “carry out” would be better than “execute on.”
The Week's End Extra from the Archives: "The Skinny on Noses vs. Teeth" (November 16, 2012).
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