Words to banish in 2008

I just read the Lake Superior State University 2008 List of Banished Words (http://www.lssu.edu/banished/current.php). This caused me to generate the following list of words and phrases I’d like to abolish from the English language. Feel free to add your own.

Celebrity news— If it’s about a celebrity, it’s not news. That’s called entertainment or gossip or proof of a good publicist.

Ubiquitous— That’s a lot of syllables to substitute for “present,” and much more difficult to say.

Smarter than a fifth-grader— This phrase infers a lack of intelligence—in fifth-graders. Have you talked to one, lately? You might just as well ask me if I’m smarter than my computer.

Teleconference— This term is confusing. If it’s a conference, people attend in person. If it’s a group telephone communication, that’s a “conference call.” If it’s a closed circuit broadcast or PowerPoint presentation, that’s called “nap time.”

Going green  Every time I hear this phrase I think of Kermit the Frog. I’ve never seen a person turn green, not even an envious one, unless he or she was about to vomit—and that doesn’t create an appealing image. Everything environmentally friendly is not necessarily green. In fact, many natural products are brown. But nobody, other than maybe a UPS spokesperson, ever says “I’m going brown.”

Parental advisory  I think TV programs add this voiceover comment to their introductions just to boost ratings. If we don’t want our kids to see graphic violence and sexual images or hear strong language, we shouldn’t turn on a TV set after 4:00 p.m.

Kick to the curb  I hear this most often when women speak of bad relationships. Frankly, if I were going to kick a guy out of my life, I’d want him to land much farther away than my curb.

Red states/blue states  States are comprised of residents (most of whom don’t vote), who are neither red nor blue. Elephants and donkeys are neither red nor blue. Seems to me that it would have been more appropriate to refer to Republican states as “gray states” and Democratic ones as, oh, say, maybe, “purple states.” But why color-code them at all?

Politically correct (or “PC”)–  (as in, the statement above wasn’t PC)  How can something be both political AND correct? This term really means: If you’re a politician, you shouldn’t say (fill in this blank with any racial, socially sensitive or stupid remark )—at least not in public. Most of us don’t give a fiddle-fart about becoming politicians, so we should say what we mean and serve the consequences. Being politically correct often hides an individual’s true beliefs and permits bigots to avoid discovery. Just let every jerk have his say. Yeah, it’s usually a guy. Maybe sometimes it’s a woman. But since I’m not Don Imus or Rosie O’Donnell, who really cares?

Spears (as in Britney or Jamie Lynn or however many OTHER sisters there might be out there)  It’s a fertile family. They don’t understand birth control. Big deal. Move on.



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10 responses to “Words to banish in 2008

  1. Narnie

    I’m a Brit and the one word I would like to ban is ‘whatever’. Unfortunately, that is mostly because it has become mine and everyone else’s way of saying ‘I have no idea of anything interesting to say and I am not clever enough to think of a suitable retort but… yeah… whatever.’

    I like your voice – very amusing and saying things out loud that the rest of us wish we were clever enough to aticulate. Nice one. 🙂

  2. Why banish “ubiquitous”? I love that word. One phrase I would like to ban is “you know”. It’s incredibly annoying – especially when it is repeated a number of times during a conversation.

  3. isabellagladd

    The list is a hoot and a holler. I’d add “have a good one” although it would fall under phrases to ban. Every time someone says, “Have a good one…” I feel like I’m left hanging in the air. A good what? What does this person want me to have? A good headache? A good time spending money? A good time voting? Communicate, people.

  4. I just finished “Infidel” by Hirsha Ali. I am now convinced that one of the most dangerous things we’ve had happen lately is multiculturism, in the sense that we allow little colonies, or ghettos, of “immigrants” to build up and isolate themselves from integration with the American culture while remaining here and claiming use of the resources and services we and our immigrant ancestors have built.
    My nomination for words to ban: multicultural — it’s a PC euphemism.

  5. nectarfizz

    HAHAHA Love the list.

  6. Great list. One from my list: LOL. The other day, I actually heard a grown-up say, “LOL”, instead of just laughing out loud. Great to see you on wordpress! Michele

  7. Bob Spooner

    How about the ubiquitous “no problem” as a response to placing a simple order in any food line or with (mostly younger) wait staff in a restaurant? “Yes, can I have the bacon cheeseburger, medium, and a Dr. Pepper?” “No problem.” “Gee, I’m glad to hear that. I was worried that you might be unable to serve me the best-selling item on your menu, you dolt.” And we can’t ban “you know”. That would leave too many pro ball-players with very little to say.

  8. totallyskewed

    Love these additions. Keep ’em coming!

  9. Great list.

    I think we should ban “Not” in response to a sentence like “I am great” but then again, I am old so like to ban newisms.

  10. totallyskewed

    For the record, the above “Jim Estill” is not my husband. When I wrongfully thanked my spouse for adding a comment on my blog, he said, “What blog?”

    Doesn’t this prove what I’ve always said? My family members pay no attention to anything I write.

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