It's that Time of the Year Again (oops!)
This post is inspired by the fine ladies and gentlemen at Lake Superior State University, who have released their annual List of Words to Be Banished from the Queen's English for Mis-use, Over-use and General Uselessness. I enjoyed their most recent offering, just like I enjoyed the 2008 list last year. Here is what they have to say (or, more specifically, what they have to not say) for 2009:
- Green (pertaining to environmental conscientiousness)
- Carbon footprint or carbon offsetting
- First dude
- Wall Street/Main Street
- Icon or iconic
- Game changer
- Desperate search
- Not so much
- Winner of five nominations
- It's that time of year again
I also have offerings of my own. They are not as commonplace (and and probably not as egregious), but my position is that these babies can be cast right on out with the bath-water listed above:
- Completely inconsequential (this is redundant)
- Given the current state of the economy (okay, okay, this one may be debatable)
- Entered into a contractual relation (what's so wrong with just saying, "contracted," Armen?)
- Impression (one makes an impression when stepping on soft dirt; when imitating another, one makes an "impersonation." So, to say, "let me show you my my impression of so-and-so" is nonsense)http://www.blogger.com/img/blank.gif
- Secret confession (it's either a secret, or a confession)
- Czar (as in "druz czar." Our government officials already have titles -- why borrow from Russia?)
- Bisons (the plural of buffalo is still "bison." Ahem)
- It's like X on steroids (to say this rarely makes sense, unless X really is on steroids . . . in which case it's not "like" X is on steroids at all)
- Hype (I was wrong. See )
(this word is shorthand for "hyperbole," not some sort of nebulous enthusiasm, so, it should be used when hyperbole is present)
- In the X context (a sure sign someone is making things more complex than necessary)
- To move (a child, etc.) lightly up and down in the arms or on the knee; to move (anything) up and down playfully in the hand.
- What is not to like about "dandle"? It is one of those fine English words that suggests repetition by ending in “le” (compare “spark” to “sparkle”), it is rare yet has an air of familiarity about it, and it is as loving and innocent a word as there could be.
- "A rod in pickle" (and variants): a punishment kept in reserve, ready to be inflicted when required.
- Some kind of pointed weapon.
- A single grain or particle of sand, dust, etc. A pellet.
- To pick in a small way, or a little at a time; to peck, nibble; to eat sparingly or delicately.
- To treat or alter (a painting) so as to pass it off as an old master.
- Who knew it meant so many things? Not me. Yet every definition seems to fit!
- To speak in a dogmatic or pompous manner; (also occas.) to behave in an arrogant or high-handed way.
- I like this verb, because it comes from a noun meaning the office of high priest. Zing!
- Intellectually or morally stupefied or blinded.
- Been there. Still there.
- The German word for ‘palindrome’ (which is a word that is spelled the same backward or forward, like ‘level’).
- Proof that the Germans are more clever than the English: retroworter is a palindrome, too.
- Inclined to lust, lewd, wanton.
- I especially like the sound of the phrase, "lascivious intent," which is surely sufficient mens rea for any criminal offense. Just walking around with lascivious intent invites liability -- one misstep and you're screwed.
- Excessive indulgence, or the sickness resulting from same.
- Here is what Montgomery Burns, Springfield's incompetently evil tycoon said to the police after he had been shot: "With Smithers out of the way, I was free to wallow in my own crapulence."
- Refractory, unruly; now chiefly, cross, fretful, peevish; esp. of children.
- The default psychological state at Nuts & Boalts.
* This is supposed to be the emoticon for a heart (less than sign + the numeral 3). Google blogger thinks it is a broken html tag, and keeps "correcting" it for me -- that's why it doesn't look right. Grr.
[Updated January 1 by Patrick to reflect his wrong-ness.]
Labels: Grammar Snarks