Lake Superior State University, located in Sault Ste. Marie in Michigan’s upper penninsula, released its 35th annual list of banished words. The list started during a New Year’s Eve party in 1975. Since then it has been an annual effort to banish words and phrases from the Queen’s English for misuse, overuse, and general uselessness.
Said a word banishment spokesperson, “the list this year is a ‘teachable moment’ conducted free of ‘tweets. In these economic times’, purging our language of ‘toxic assets’ is a ‘stimulus’ effort that’s ‘too big to fail’.”
The List of Banished Words is developed from reader submissions. Here are the 2010 banished words and phrases.
- Shovel-ready—a project fully designed but waiting for work to begin
- Transparent/transparency—easily understood and fully disclosed
- Czar—a specialized, high authority appointment
- Tweet—sending a message on Twitter; also banned are all tweet’s variations, such as tweetaholic, retweet, twitterhea, twitterature, and twittersphere
- App—as in applets for the iPhone
- Sexting—sending sexually explicit pictures and text messages by cell phone
- Friend as a verb—adding someone to your network on social media sites; also banned are the related friending, unfriend, and unfriending
- Teachable moment—how about just plain lesson?
- In these economic times…—aren’t all times economic?
- Stimulus—it’s just plain overused and has no clear boundaries (or effect, that I can see)
- Toxic assets—a euphemism for bad investments and debt
- Too big to fail—no one knows if anything’s too big to fail because we’ve never seen it happen
- Bromance—a close relationship between two straight males
- Chillaxin’—a combination chilling and relaxing; a multi-year nominee, it finally wore out its welcome
- Obama-prefix or roots—such as Obamanomics, Obamanation, Obamafication, Obamacare, Obamalicious, and Obamaland; although it got no nominations, the Word Banishment Committee decided Obamanough already