Well, 2009 was both good and bad. Good because we have three new babies in the family. Bad because a friend, Catherine Gordon, died way too young of cancer on November 18.
Christmas was better this year—I wasn’t so numb. Dad gave me a wedding portrait of Mom that is so beautiful I cried (between that and the note he wrote). Stanley gave me a Kindle which I like even more than I thought I would. Maureen kept Christmas fairly simple this year, which is what we all needed.
Maybe 2010 will be better. I can sort of feel this miasma of funk I’ve been in since my mother died start to clear up—like seeing glimpses of the road through the fog. I’m starting to think about what I want to create and projects I want to do—next step is starting something that’s not work-related. Maybe the President will keep one or two of the promises he made. Maybe there will be jobs and maybe they will straighten out the economy ... and maybe I’ll get some good tomatoes from the garden this year.
The 2010 List of Banished Words from Lake Superior State University (Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan):
[Note: I’ve trimmed the comments—you can read them all, and more, and even get your Unicorn Hunter license at the link above]
“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.
“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.
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). George W. Bush appointed 47 people to 35 “czar” jobs; Pres. Obama, eight appointments to 38 positions
And all of its variations ... tweetaholic, retweet, twitterhea, twitterature, twittersphere ... “I don’t know a single non-celebrity who actually uses it,” says Alex Thompson of Sault St. Marie, Mich. Jay Brazier of Williamston, Mich. says she supposes that tweeters might be “twits.”
“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. “Is there an ‘app’ for making this annoying word go away? Why can’t we just call them ‘programs’ again?” – Kuahmel Allah, Los Angeles, Calif.
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.
Friend as a verb
“‘Befriend’ is much more pleasant to the human ear and a perfectly useful word in the dictionary.” – Kevin K., Morris, Okla.
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. “This phrase is used to describe everything from potty-training to politics. It’s time to vote it out!” – Jodi, Youngstown, Ohio.
In these economic times ...
Nominations concerning the economy started rolling in as the 2009 list was being put together last year, i.e. “bailout.” They kept coming this year, in these trouble economic times. ” South Park ” warned us about what would happen if we angered The Economy. “In this economy, we can’t afford to be wasteful…In this economy, we all need some security…In this economy, frogs could start falling from the sky…In this economy, blah blah blah… Overused for everything from trying to market products as inexpensive to simply explaining any and all behavior during the recession.” – Mark, Milwaukee, Wisc. “When someone prefaces a statement with ‘in this economic climate,’ its starts to sound like a sales pitch, or just an excuse on which to blame every problem. And if a letter or e-mail message from your employer starts with this phrase, usually it means you’re not getting a raise this year.” – Dominic, Seattle, Wash.
“What next, can I go down to the local bar and down a few drinks and call it a stimulus package?” – Richard Brown, Portland, Ore.
We think we’re going to be sick. “Whatever happened to simply ‘bad stocks,’ ‘debts,’ or ‘loans’?”—Monty Heidenreich, Homewood, Ill.
Too big to fail
“Does such a thing exist? We’ll never know if a company is too big to fail, unless somehow it does fail, and then it will no longer be too big to fail. Make it stop!” – Holli, Raleigh, NC.
“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.
Nominated for several years. We couldn’t chill about it anymore. “A made-up word used by annoying Gen-Yers.” – Chris Jensen, Fond du Lac, Wisc.
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.
A lot of what we’ve been busy with is behind-the-scenes stuff. But we recently launched two new websites.
The first, Cerulean Advisors, is for a company that provides capital markets advice as well as unbiased financial and strategic guidance to emerging public and privately held healthcare companies. It’s an elegant site that will expand as the company does. This site, as well as the one below, are built with the Expression Engine content management system, which we like more and more as they polish and improve it.
The second site, which is in a soft launch as we fine-tune things, is Robin’s Resources, a site that reviews Fairfield County, Connecticut stores, restaurants, bars, coffee shops, charities, and more, and is geared to busy women. It features succinct reviews and tips on what to look for or to order or why to give your money to a particular charity. Eventually it will have a full directory and be supported by advertising.