Banished Words—or words that should be, at any rate

Banished Words is my favorite annual "award." Lake Superior State University (in Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan) publishes a list of them every year.

From the press release:
"Make no mistakes about it,ђ Lake Superior State University issued its 28th annual extremeђ List of Words Banished from the Queen's English for Mis-Use, Over-Use and General Uselessness, which the world needs now, more than ever.ђ

"LSSU has been compiling the list since 1976, choosing from nominations sent from around the world. This year, words and phrases were pulled from a record 3,000 nominations. Most were sent through the schools website:

"Word-watchers pull nominations throughout the year from everyday speech, as well as from the news, fields of education, technology, advertising, politics, and more. A committee gathers the entries and chooses the best in December. The list is released on New YearҒs Day."

Last year LSSU added "functionality" to the list—a non-word that indicates the user can't figure out what something really means, or is too lazy or stupid to describe, in plain English, what something does.

This year's list (read the why's on the website):
  • material breach

  • must-see tv

  • untimely death (absolutely must be banished)

  • black ice

  • on the ground

  • weapons of mass destruction

  • make no mistake about it

  • homeland security (vs. national security, I guess)

  • extreme

  • now, more than ever

  • branding (used instead of PR—is PR such a bad thing?)

  • having said that , that said

  • peel-and-eat shrimp

  • challenge (is a challenge better than a problem?)

  • it's a good thing (yep, I've used this way too much)

  • as per

  • reverse discrimination

  • there is no score (guess 0-0 doesn't mean anything)

  • got game (eeeyyyeeeewww!!)

  • mental mistake

  • ___ in color

  • frozen tundra (a Squad Squad entry)

  • undisclosed secret location (newsies using this sound like asses)

One of these days I'm going to start making my list of tv news clichés. I suspect it will take exactly two weeks to cycle through the entire collection. Submit your entries now!
Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 01/04/03 at 11:17 PM
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