This is part of a possibly long-running series of posts about English mannerisms I see online that are overused or make me think less of the writer.

“Flash forward to today, when I tried to run my windshield washers but horse blood came out!”

“Fast forward to last week when I accidentally dropped my cell phone in a meat grinder…”

There’s better ways to say that, that don’t invoke thoughts of streaky VCR tracking or gimmicks in short-running TV shows. For indicating the passage of time, instead of using some phrase you thought was cool in grade school (“It has FLASH in it!”), try one of these alternate ways of saying the same thing:

“I ran my windshield wipers today and horse blood came out!”

“Last week, I dropped my cell phone into a running meat grinder.”

Shorter sentences (usually better) that mean the same thing and won’t feel outdated in five years or make you look like a semi-literate office drone.