I don’t know where I have been since 1976, but I was not aware that Lake Superior University has been publishing the Word Banishment List at the end of every year. I don’t even know which state Lake Superior University is in. But they do it, and here is explanation from the Univesity’s website: “The annual List of Words Banished from the Queen’s English for Mis-Use, Over-Use and General Uselessness has been going strong since New Year’s Day 1976 and shows no signs of stopping. People from around the world have nominated hundreds of words and phrases such as “you know,” “user friendly,” “at this point in time,” and “have a nice day,” to be purged from the language.”
I am intrigued by the list, mostly because it started with the term Fiscal Cliff, which caught my eye. That term has really bugged me since some media person introduced it. I am so sick of that phrase now it’s like fingernails on a chalkboard, aren’t you? Some of the other words surprised me because I never hear them, like boneless wings. It’s on the list because really, chicken wings are not boneless. It’s just chicken meat. Here is the list for 2013:
fiscal cliff (obvious overuse)
kick the can down the road (apparently a lot of politicians use this term? I was not aware)
double down (when a politican does not kick the can down the road, but gets adamant about something)
jobs creation/creator (another overused and over-promised political platform phrase)
passion/passionate (we can’t all be passionate about everything we do, but apparently we are all described as being passionate about [fill in the blank])
YOLO (you only live once. Someone said it is overused on Twitter by people who believe they have discovered something profound, like brownies with marshmallow centers)
spoiler alert (as one person pointed out, an excuse to spoil)
Bucket List (I have one. Do you?)
Trending (If I were trending, I’d like this word. But I’m not so I don’t)
superfood (Hey. Someone has to sing the praises of foods like broccoli and brussel sprouts, or they might be overlooked)
boneless wings (who came up with this, anyway?)
guru (They say unless you are Buddhist, you can’t really be a guru. I couldn’t really be a guru even if I was a Buddhist).
There are some other phrases I’d like to see added to this list. One of my personal, make-me-scream-in-agony phrases is “at the end of the day.” Every athlete, every politician says it, and usually more than once in the same speech. I am also not a fan of the exclamation, “That’s sick” to mean that’s great, because it just doesn’t work. If you say that’s sick, I think it’s sick. Period.
What words of phrases would you like to see on the banished list? Are there any words on this year’s list that you are not giving up? That don’t offend you or offend you terribly? What words are you kids saying that the rest of us should know about? What hashtag on Twitter bugs you the most?