Friday, January 1, 2010

2010 :List of Banished Words

Lake Superior State University has released its annual list of "banished words"; words they consider trite, overused, annoying, or a combination of all three. Following below is the list, with my comments in italics:


"Apparently, the generally accepted definition of this phrase is to imply that a project has been completely designed and all that is left to do is to implement it...however, when something dies, it, too, is shovel-ready for burial and so I get confused about the meaning. I would suggest that we just say the project is ready to implement.” – Jerry Redington, Keosauqua, Iowa.

"Stick a shovel in it. It's done." – Joe Grimm, Bloomfield Hills, Mich.

I'd like to take a shovel upside the head of the person who coined this obnoxious phrase.


"In the lexicon of the political arena, this word is supposed to mean obvious or easily understood. In reality, political transparency is more invisible than obvious!" -- Deb Larson, Bellaire, Mich.

Someone throw a blanket over "transparent".


Long used by the media as a metaphor for positions of high authority, including “baseball czar” Judge Kenesaw Mountain Landis, appointed by team owners as commissioner-for-life in 1919. U.S. president Woodrow Wilson had an “industry czar” during World War I. Lesser-known “czar” roles in government during the last 100 years include: censorship, housing and oil czars in 1941; rubber czar in 1942; patronage czar (1945); clean-up (1952); missile (1954); inflation (1971); e-commerce (1998); bioethics, faith-based and reading czars (2001); bird flu (2004); democracy (2005); abstinence and birth control czars (2006); and weatherization czar (2008).

I thought the Russians took care of "czars" in 1917.


And all of its variations…tweetaholic, retweet, twitterhea, twitterature, twittersphere….

Jay Brazier of Williamston, Mich. says she supposes that tweeters might be "twits."

Personally, I'd go for "twats", myself.


"Must we b sbjct to yt another abrv? Why does the English language have to fit on a two-inch screen? I hate the sound of it. I think I'll listen to a symph on the rad." -- Edward R. Bolt, Grand Rapids, Mich.

Put "cr" in front of "app" and you get crapp!


Sending sexually explicit pictures and text messages through the cell phone.

"Any dangerous new trend that also happens to have a clever mash-up of words, involves teens, and gets television talk show hosts interested must be banished." – Ishmael Daro, Saskatoon, Sask., Canada.

A "word" spoken by those who aren't getting the real thing.


Came into popularity through social networking websites. You add someone to your network by "friending" them, or remove them by "unfriending" them.

"'Befriend' is much more pleasant to the human ear and a perfectly useful word in the dictionary." – Kevin K., Morris, Okla.

I pretty much hate any noun that is made into a verb and vice versa.


What might otherwise be known as 'a lesson.'

"It's a condescending substitute for 'opportunity to make a point,'" says Eric Rosenquist of College Station, Tex.

So, portions of time are now capable of being taught, hmm?


"Overused and redundant. Aren't ALL times 'these economic times'?" -- Barb Stutesman, Three Rivers, Mich.

I think this stuffy phrase has outlived its fifteen minutes of overuse.


"Everything in the news is about the stimulus is no longer a grant, it's stimulus money, stimulus checks, etc. I think it is just being over-used." Teri Heikkila, Rudyard, Mich.

I've got your "stimulus package" right here!


"Whatever happened to simply 'bad stocks,' 'debts,' or 'loans'?" -- Monty Heidenreich, Homewood, Ill.

This list wouldn't be complete without an oxymoron.


"Just for the record, nothing's too big to fail unless the government lets it." Claire Shefchik, Brooklyn, NY.

Tell this to the owners of the Titanic!.


"I am sick of combined words the media creates to make them sound catchier. Frenemies? Bromances? Blogorrhea? I'm going to scream!" – Kaylynn, Alberta, Canada.

I've been lucky to have never heard this one before.


"Heard everywhere from MTV to ESPN to CNN. A bothersome term that seeks to combine chillin' with relaxin' makes me want to be 'axin' this word." – Tammy, Sault Ste. Marie, Mich.

What? Does this mean to put an axe into the refrigerator?

OBAMA-prefix or roots?

The LSSU Word Banishment Committee held out hope that folks would want to Obama-ban Obama-structions, but were surprised that no one Obama-nominated any, such as these compiled by the Oxford Dictionary in 2009: Obamanomics, Obamanation, Obamafication, Obamacare, Obamalicious, Obamaland….We say Obamanough already.

Let's bomb all the Obama conages.

My personal contribution to this year's list would be:

FAIL used as a noun.

For example, a football team loses big in a game and it's dubbed "an epic fail". This one made me grind my teeth the first time I heard it. It may be an "epic failure", but it's NOT an "epic fail".

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