Changing our civic dialogue through word banishment!

Each year around New Year's Day, Lake Superior State University in Michigan's Upper Peninsula releases a list of "Words Banished from the Queen's English for Mis-Use, Over-Use and General Uselessness." The list is the subject of a considerable amount of attention when it is released - including a mention or two on Countdown with Keith Olbermann in the past. Submissions for the list are accepted year round.

The complete list of banished words includes some classics, such as 'Awesome,' 'Dawg,' 'Y2K,' 'And I Approved This Message,' and 'Whatever.' Unfortunately, the all-time list also includes 'Liberal,' 'Truthiness,' and 'Blog.' So I decided to take action.

Throughout the year I submitted my own nominations for the Banished Words List, some of which have a political bent, while others don't. What follows is a list of the words and phrasesI have submitted for banishment, along with the reasons why I nominated it.

Get real

Do you ever hear people telling you to "get fake" or "get unreal?" I know I haven't.
Phony soldiers
Regardless of your feelings regarding the war, there's nothing phony about these brave people who wear the uniform of our country.
War on Christmas
Does this mean we can expect Santa Claus to ride in on a Bradley fighting vehicle and deliver cluster bombs to all the little girls and boys?
This is one of many code words politicians use to make themselves or policies they support look good. Most people who call themselves ‘pro-life’ aren't quite as ‘pro-life’ on some issues as they are on others.
Having your work cut out for you
On the surface, it sounds like someone’s done something nice for you: "Hey, I cut out your work just for you." Uh, not exactly.
Smart bomb
I didn’t know that some bombs could be more intelligent than others. Of course, nowadays it can seem as though some of our bombs are smarter than many of our politicians.
Gut feeling
Michael Chertoff must be good if he can predict a terrorist attack based on his gut. I wish I had such capabilities.
Color me surprised that this lousy excuse for a 'word' hasn't been banished yet.
One of the most pathetic compound words to pollute the English language. Why can't you just say 'enormous' or 'gigantic?'
Take Your Breath Away
So I will literally lack oxygen and possibly suffocate to death because of whatever it is you're trying to sell me? Hmm, somehow it doesn't seem all that appealing to me anymore.
And now, I have one more nomination which I have just submitted for the 2008 list:

Once thought by many to be the silver-bullet cure to all of America's ills, conservatism just isn't what it's hyped to be. The conservative movement has run its course. I would almost feel insulted if I were called a conservative.

Do you have any words that you would like to see on the LSSU Banished Word List? If so, be sure to submit your suggestions soon - they will probably start compiling the list soon, if they haven't already!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

What a great web log. I spend hours on the net reading blogs, about tons of various subjects. I have to first of all give praise to whoever created your theme and second of all to you for writing what i can only describe as an fabulous article. I honestly believe there is a skill to writing articles that only very few posses and honestly you got it. The combining of demonstrative and upper-class content is by all odds super rare with the astronomic amount of blogs on the cyberspace.