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Lake Superior State's List of Words to be Banned.

Lake Superior State University released its annual list of "Words to Be Banished from the Queen's English for Mis-use, Over-use and General Uselessness." I will comment on them, one-by-one.

1. Viral. I don't see a problem with viral, other than overuse. It's a pretty descriptive way of describing how something can get wildly popular on the interstate tubes in the blink of an eye.

2. Epic . Again, overuse. Especially when combined with "fail."

3. Fail. "Fail" used to be primarily a verb, whose noun is "failure." Although I confess to having used "fail" myself (but in talking about my own failures, like my inability to make alioli) I don't like it. There is just something cruel about it, especially when others' failures are deemed funny.

4. Wow factor. Overuse. Laziness

5. A-ha moment. The same. Phrases like this are crutches that we use when we don't want to put in the mental labor of thinking of something better to say.

6. Backstory. I kind of like "backstory." It's descriptive and to the point.
7. BFF. I suppose there are other things that could be abbreviated "BFF." "Best Friends Forever" wasn't the first thing I thought of when I first saw the abbreviation.

8. Man up. Man down, man in, man around. I've only started hearing this recently so I haven't yet had time to get tired of it. At least I immediately knew what it meant.

9. Refudiate. Nobody uses this word, except to mock Sarah Palin, so I don't think it belongs on the list.

10. Mamma grizzlies. A metaphor for what? Angry mothers? I haven't heard this much either.

11. The American people. A community that is probably imaginary, since it can't seem to agree on anything. The people who say "the American people" always imagine that they understand what it is that "the American people" need and want. Popular with politicians, who like to push the patriotism button while remaining evasive in their rhetoric.

12. I'm just sayin'. Oh yeah? We know you're just saying, because your lips are moving and words are coming out of your mouth. It's used to evade complete responsibility for what you're just saying. "He's got a criminal record and his feet stink. I'm just sayin'." Yes. I'm just sayin' that his one deserves banishment.

13. Facebook/Google as verbs. It's not so bad. A testament to the flexibility of the English language. "Dude, I'll Facebook you later on." Sounds like fun. I would like a full, frontal Facebook, please.

14. Live life to the fullest. Before it's too late. It's just cliché is all. Here I would have substituted. "Main Street and Wall Street."

Some contend that Barack Obama's use of "shellacking" should be included. You have to give the O Man credit. It was the perfect word. That's why it resonated so much. Not that everybody has to overdo it now and refer to every rout as a shellacking.



I say google as a reference to looking up anything anywhere. Amazon.com, IMDB.com, etc.

Epic is the only other word here that I ever use, but that is only because I run a video store and Cecil B. DeMille is my BFF.

Refudiate sounds like a cool word. (altho spellchecker doesn't seem to like it.) Lemme google it and get back to you.

I think I speak for the American People when I say,
"Man up, Mamma Grizzlies!"


I remember the last graduation speech the late Steve North, my former principal, ever gave. I was the shortest distance between two points that included all possible graduation cliches, probably 15 minutes straight. I laughed...busted a gut, LMAO, rolled in the aisle, etc.

January 2018



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