Monday, January 1, 2007

Banned Words for 2007

Yesterday, Michigan's Lake Superior State University released its 30th annual "List of Words and Phrases Banished from the Queen's English for Mis-Use, Over-Use and General Uselessness." As a language lover and a hater of inane words and expressions, I read the list with great interest. Following is their current list, with my suggestions for their 2008 list:

GITMO -- slang for
Guantanamo Bay Naval Base. This one doesn't bother me if used sparingly.

COMBINED CELEBRITY NAMES -- as in "Brangelina", "TomKat", and "Bennifer". Yep, this one's puke-worthy.

AWESOME -- When used as to refer to things of a mundane or banal nature, to refer to anything that is not worthy of
"fear mingled with admiration or reverence; a feeling produced by something majestic". The overuse of this word betrays a lack of vocabulary.

GONE/WENT MISSING -- Is this anything like going on vacation?

PWN/PWNED -- An overly used internet typo for "own/owned" from the gamer world. Not being a gamer, this is the first time I've heard this one.

-- As opposed to those movies now playing in gas stations?

WE'RE PREGNANT -- This is one of my favorite love-to-hate expressions. A couple may both be expecting, but only SHE is pregnant. Puke.

UNDOCUMENTED ALIEN -- PC term for illegal alien. To use this expression is like calling a drug dealer and "undocumented pharmacist".

ARMED ROBBERY/DRUG DEAL GONE BAD -- another inane euphemism

TRUTHINESS -- this is a new one on me, and I hope I never hear it again.

ASK YOUR DOCTOR -- From prescription medication ads. How stupid do they think people are? Do they think if they have a question about a medication that they'd ask their auto mechanic instead?

i-ANYTHING -- Something else I don't see often

SEARCH -- As opposed to "google". I think this needs to be reversed.

HEALTHY FOOD -- If the chicken you had for lunch was still healthy, it would be out clucking in the hen house, not lying on your plate. The word needed in this instance is "healthful".

BOASTS -- As used in real estate ads;
“master bedroom boasts his-and-her fireplaces — never ‘bathroom apologizes for cracked linoleum,’ or ‘kitchen laments pathetic placement of electrical outlets.’'

Here's my list of suggestions:

PROLLY — purposeful internet misspelling of probably. We don’t even SAY it that way.

TEH — purposeful internet misspelling of the. Seeing it once is funny, seeing it consistently is annoying.

IMPACT — when used to mean “affect” or “influence”.

SOLUTIONS — used in recent years as part of business names. “Sleep Solutions” for a mattress company, “Car Solutions” for a used car lot, “Senior Solutions” for an adult day car center.

HOT — when used to mean sexy. Sexy is sexy and hot needs an air-conditioner.

FREE GIFT — if it’s a gift, then of course it’s free. Who ever heard of a gift you had to pay for?

FLAVORFUL — as used in grocery store ads. Just because something is full of flavor, it doesn’t necessarily follow that it is a GOOD flavor.

GARDEN APARTMENT — Used to describe a type of apartment. Trouble is, whenever I’ve seen one of those, there is never a garden anywhere on the premises.

ARTIST — when used to refer to a musician, singer, or band. These are three precise words to describe a musical performer, where “artist” is more vague. Let’s reserve artist for the visual arts.

Any concocted word ending in -LICIOUS — Delicious is fine, anything else is cringe-worthy.

BEHIND BARS -- Jails and prisons with actual bars have gone the way of the black and white striped prison suit.

Feel free to add any words or phrases you think belong on this list.
To see their lists from previous years:

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