14 Words That Must Go

Every year, Lake Superior State University holds a quirky publicity stunt where they announce a list of words and phrases that they believe should be banished from the English language for overuse and misuse. Now you might be wondering why this college is the authority on outdated terms (I know I am), but apparently their claim to fame is that they’ve released this annual “banished words” list 36 times. So basically, history equals power. Hm.

In any case, LSSU compiles its annual list based on nominations from the public-at-large (largely submitted at their website), and this year’s nominations — which topped 1,000 words — were whittled down to 12. Tech-heads, politicians, and yes, geeks, were targets of the public’s ire, as you can see in the list below. My thoughts follow each banished word.

  • Viral
    Yeah, this one’s overused, but it’s also an important term for Internet developers and webmasters. I don’t see it going away anytime soon.
  • Epic
    It’s definitely lost some of its meaning from overuse, but I still love this one when it’s used properly.
  • Fail
    Used primarily in conjunction with “epic.” Definitely a worthy addition.
  • Wow Factor
    Totally agree. Sick of it.
  • A-ha Moment
    Didn’t this one come from Oprah? And isn’t it like, a sin to disagree with her?
  • Backstory
    Sorry, not giving this one up. Far too important to us storytellers.
  • BFF
    My only thought about this one is amazement that “OMG” didn’t make the list first.
  • Man-Up
    Rose to fame after Sharon Angle used it in a Senate debate before last year’s elections.
  • Refudiate
    Apparently Sarah Palin started this one as a typo in a Tweet where she meant to say “repudiate.”
  • Mama Grizzlies
    Another one that sprung to life in relation to Sarah Palin, and is used to describe certain female Republicans.
  • The American People
    People seem to be sick of Congressmen using this one. They’re probably right.
  • I’m Just Sayin’
    I hate this one too. It has to go.
  • “Facebook” & “Google” used as verbs
    I’m definitely guilty of this one. How about you?
  • Live Life to the Fullest
    I think this is another Oprah-ism. Which means it must’ve come directly from God.

Last year’s entries include “sexting,” “chillax,” and “bromance” — words I still hear and see being used frequently. So ultimately LSSU’s list wields no real power.

Still, what words would you like to see go away forever?

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Robin Parrish
@robinparrish

Unathletic, uncoordinated tall man with endless creativity stampeding through his overactive brain. Comes with beard, wife, and two miniature humans. Novelist. General blogger and main Gaming Geek for ForeverGeek. Lead Blogger, Apple Gazette.

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