Words That You Need to Stop Using in Trip Reports: “Intuitive”

I write a lot of trip reports; I read a lot of trip reports. And one of the words that makes me cringe every time I read it is “intuitive”.

I blame Lucky for it, as I’m pretty sure his was the first blog where I read someone saying that the seat controls were “intuitive”. I remember reading it and thinking, “that’s a really odd word to use, and it doesn’t really make sense, but whatevs”. But then I kept seeing it again and again and again, both in his blog and in other blogs.

If something is “intuitive”, it should be instinctual or true without regards to conscious thought, reasoning, or past experience. Really, when people are using the word “intuitive”, they mean that something is familiar or easy to use. For example, “the seat controls resembled seat controls that I have used in the past, so I didn’t have to think too hard about how to use them”. They probably don’t mean, “if I took someone who has never been in a car/bus/train/plane before and put him in an airplane seat, he would intuit that the seat controls would move the seat in these ways”.

I think a large reason why the word “intuitive” now pops up in so many trip reports is because it’s intuitive familiar to the writers and so they don’t have to think about what they actually mean to say. Again, people need to stop and think for themselves. It’s so much easier to regurgitate phrases and memes than it is to think deliberately about what you’re writing, but that contributes to the lack of originality in blogs today.


  1. YES!!! Love this. I can’t tell you how many times i’ve been annoyed by that phrase in trip reports. Not only is misused as you point out, but its utterly useless information. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a trip report that hasn’t found the seat controls “intuitive”–so why bother including the info or, for that matter, a pic. We all know there will be seat controls and we’ll all be able to figure out how to use them. Another pet peeve: calling the airplane toilet a lavatory. Why are travel bloggers British for that one word?

  2. With the inundation of these miles/points/travel blogs and the inevitable continual regurgitation of all the same news and advice, it’s kind of entertaining to see more and more the depths bloggers will go to in scraping the bottom of the barrel to fulfill commandment #1: put something, anything, up on the blog daily.
    It’s easy to see which posts are scraping the bottom. Let’s just say, it’s intuitive. 😉

  3. Now that we’re at it, using “DATAPOINT” in every comment from travel stories to manufactured spend tricks is getting intuitively ridiculous.

  4. Wow. Tough crowd. I’m just asking for proper grammar and sentence structure. Some blogs are so exhausting to read.

    1. I agree that some blogs are exhausting to read (I generally stop reading those quickly), but I hope that we can expect higher standards (both in terms of writing quality and journalistic standards) of some of the largest, most profitable blogs.

  5. Really? That’s a post? From the last self serving post to this, me thinks you are quite impressed with yourself.

    Well I suppose you are so amazingly efficient allegedly. Lucky is not my friend or anything, but we have enough haters and trolls lurking, I’d think twice before attacking the best blogger on boardingarea.com if I were you. Oh… And a biggie… The content.

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