Tuesday, January 01, 2008

2008 List of Banished Words

Each year Lake Superior State University publishes a list of words and phrases they believe should be banned in light of their uselessness. Here are highlights from the 2008 list:

POST 9/11 – "'Our post-9/11 world,' is used now, and probably used more, than AD, BC, or Y2K, time references. You'd think the United States didn't have jet fighters, nuclear bombs, and secret agents, let alone electricity, 'pre-9/11.'"

'BLANK' is the new 'BLANK' or 'X' is the new 'Y' – "In spite of statements to the contrary, 'Cold is (NOT) the new hot,' nor is '70 the new 50.'"

RANDOM – "Outrageous mis- and overuse, mostly by teenagers, i.e. 'This random guy, singing this random song…It was so random.' Grrrrr."

IT IS WHAT IT IS – "This pointless phrase, uttered initially by athletes on the losing side of a contest, is making its way into general use. It accomplishes the dual feat of adding nothing to the conversation while also being phonetically and thematically redundant."

UNDER THE BUS – "Please, just 'blame' them."

The complete list, with comments, is here.

If you can't see the intuitive appeal in not butchering our language, there may be a practical reason to pay attention to the list as well: The University once received a letter from an Arizona Supreme Court justice who said he posted that year's list on a bulletin board and prohibited all attorneys from using those words.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

I really like "it is what is is" - much better than the french-y, i'm saying it b/c i'm pompous "se la vie ..."

what do they know anyway?

1/02/2008 8:56 AM  
Blogger Armen said...

c'est la vie.

1/02/2008 9:33 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

my point exactly!

1/02/2008 9:47 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Whenever anyone asks me how law school is going, I always end up using "it is what it is." I can't live without it.

1/02/2008 10:59 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i dislike the use of the word "butchering!" that's so subjective! i think it's augmenting! wordplay! etcetera! in fact, i enjoy most of these supposed verbal faux pas, and i think the term "post 9-11" is actually quite descriptive, a useful shorthand for changes in national security policy, human rights, the iraq war, and the list goes on, pre and post the towers falling.

1/02/2008 1:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've always liked "sometimes you're the bug; sometimes you're the windshield" to express the same sentiment.

1/02/2008 1:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Two of those I've only ever heard on Top Chef.

1/02/2008 4:26 PM  

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