Banned Words of 2010

Every year, Lake Superior State University publishes a list of overused words that should be banned:

Word "czars" at Lake Superior State University "unfriended" 15 words and phrases and declared them "shovel-ready" for inclusion on the university's 35th annual List of Words Banished from the Queen's English for Mis-use, Over-use and General Uselessness.

"The list this year is a 'teachable moment' conducted free of 'tweets,'" said a Word Banishment spokesman who was "chillaxin'" for the holidays. "'In these economic times', purging our language of 'toxic assets' is a 'stimulus' effort that's 'too big to fail.'"

Former LSSU Public Relations Director Bill Rabe and friends created "word banishment" in 1975 at a New Year's Eve party and released the first list on New Year's Day. Since then, LSSU has received tens of thousands of nominations for the list, which includes words and phrases from marketing, media, education, technology and more.

Word-watchers may check the alphabetical "complete list" on the website before making their submissions.

Here are the 35th annual List of Words Banished from the Queen's English for Mis-use, Over-use and General Uselesness:

  • Shovel-ready
  • Transparent/Transparency
  • Czar
  • Tweet
  • App
  • Sexting
  • Friend as a verb
  • Teachable moment
  • In these economic times ...
  • Stimulus
  • Toxic assets
  • Too big to fail
  • Bromance
  • Chillaxin'
  • Obama-prefix or roots

Link


Never understood the appeal of using Czar as a leadership role, since we Americans were all taught negative connotations with that title. Isn't it a Russian term? Why do we have a drug czar?
Abusive comment hidden. (Show it anyway.)
I'm praying for a 2011 ban of the vulgar, pseudo-literate fragment 'comprised of.' It's very simple, fellow English speakers: things /comprise/ that of which they are COMPOSED. Really, just use 'composed of,' OK? Nobody will think any less of you for not making the more fashionable error. Lots of stupid things are executed as herds.
Abusive comment hidden. (Show it anyway.)
My list of words I wish would go away:
Sammich
Fail
Pwn/owned
Plox
DIAF
zomg
Phrases I wish would go away:
"Cool Story Bro"
"What is this I don't even"
Fads I wish would go away:
Zombies (brains)
Bacon
Social networking bs.
Abusive comment hidden. (Show it anyway.)
2009 was probably the worst year for coined terms ever. I'd like to kick the guy who thought it was a good idea to add staycation to Websters dictionary.
Abusive comment hidden. (Show it anyway.)
Language isn't static, nor should it be. New words arise to fit speakers' changing needs. They get sorted out by natural selection, according to whether they stay useful once the novelty wears off. I doubt that "staycation" will be around long; I've never heard anyone say it without some kind of acknowledgment of its strangeness. I suspect that "friend," used as a verb, will have a pretty long life though, as social media on the Web seem to be here to stay.

@Dervid: I'd always been taught that "cities comprise neighborhoods," and not the other way around, but Merriam-Webster, at least, lists both uses and says the "neighborhoods comprise cities" sense has been in use at least since the 18th century.
Abusive comment hidden. (Show it anyway.)
>Language isn't static, nor should it be. New words arise to fit speakers' changing needs.

Language isn't static and we all know it. It's exactly for that reason that some want to prevent the encroachment of slang that they see as bringing down the language, or why some people are sensitive about punctuation. I'm of two minds on the subject, since "usefulness" might be why things stick around, but it doesn't always mean "clarity of expression." Words like "like" might be useful to replace mumbling "umm," but they also make expressions even less clear than throwing some "umms" around would. This is the same reason that they'd like to see "its" and "it's" used correctly. Language isn't static, and if we justify sitting idly by out of an argument against prescriptivism, the language can lose a lot, as other languages have in the past.
Abusive comment hidden. (Show it anyway.)
I would like to add the word "epic" to that list. Don't get me wrong, it's a great word, but it has been overused so much on the internet that it has lost a lot of meaning.
Abusive comment hidden. (Show it anyway.)
I vote to ban the word literally.

Literally, everyone uses this word to describe literally every event that's ever literally happened in their life. Literally.

Sick of it!
Abusive comment hidden. (Show it anyway.)
Swagger

I don't hear it much in everyday speech but seems to be the buzzword of football analysts this year. Drives me crazy. Especially since it was often used to describe my team right before they went on a losing streak.
Abusive comment hidden. (Show it anyway.)
I don't disagree with anything on the list, but I don't care about any Queen.

One I would add: the phrase "save the date".
Abusive comment hidden. (Show it anyway.)
Word that is in desperate need to come back: 'Rad'. Just for a little while. Maybe just a few months. I would be so pleased if Rad were placed on this list next year.
Abusive comment hidden. (Show it anyway.)
IT'S NOT THE WORDS WE HAVE SUCH DISTASTE FOR, MANY OF THEM ARE QUITE CLEAVER. IT'S THE WAY UNORIGINAL PEOPLE SPEW THEM LIKE WORD VOMIT, TRYING TO IMPLY WITT, THAT MAKES THEIR FLAVOR SEEM STALE.
Abusive comment hidden. (Show it anyway.)
I am curious, what is it about these 15 words that make us want to ban them? Is it because they have no concrete meaning to us or that some have been used so often that their meaning has been altered?
Abusive comment hidden. (Show it anyway.)
Login to comment.
Click here to access all of this post's 28 comments




Email This Post to a Friend
"Banned Words of 2010"

Separate multiple emails with a comma. Limit 5.

 

Success! Your email has been sent!

close window
X

This website uses cookies.

This website uses cookies to improve user experience. By using this website you consent to all cookies in accordance with our Privacy Policy.

I agree
 
Learn More