“Fiscal Cliff”, “Trending” Make Banished Words List of 2012

Posted on: 11:35 am, December 31, 2012, by

5-12-08-covering-ears

DETROIT (AP) _ Spoiler alert: This story contains words and
phrases that some people want to ban from he English language.
“Spoiler alert” is among them. So are “kick the can down the
road,” “trending” and “bucket list.”
A dirty dozen have landed on the 38th annual List of Words to be
Banished from the Queen’s English for Misuse, Overuse and General
Uselessness. The nonbinding, tongue-in-cheek decree released Monday
by northern Michigan’s Lake Superior State University is based on
nominations submitted from the United States, Canada and beyond.
“Spoiler alert,” the seemingly thoughtful way to warn readers
or viewers about looming references to a key plot point in a film
or TV show, nevertheless passed its use-by date for many, including
Joseph Foly, of Fremont, Calif. He argued in his submission the
phrase is “used as an obnoxious way to show one has trivial
information and is about to use it, no matter what.”
At the risk of further offense, here’s another spoiler alert:
The phrase receiving the most nominations this year is “fiscal
cliff,” banished because of its overuse by media outlets when
describing across-the-board federal tax increases and spending cuts
that economists say could harm the economy in the new year without
congressional action.
“You can’t turn on the news without hearing this,” said
Christopher Loiselle, of Midland, Mich., in his submission. “I’m
equally worried about the River of Debt and Mountain of Despair.”
Other terms coming in for a literary lashing are “superfood,”
“guru,” “job creators” and “double down.”
University spokesman Tom Pink said that in nearly four decades,
the Sault Ste. Marie school has “banished” around 900 words or
phrases, and somehow the whole idea has survived rapidly advancing
technology and diminishing attention spans.
Nominations used to come by mail, then fax and via the school’s
website, he said. Now most come through the university’s Facebook
page. That’s fitting, since social media has helped accelerate the
life cycle of certan words and phrases, such as this year’s entry
“YOLO” _ “you only live once.”
“The list surprises me in one way or another every year, and
the same way every year: I’m always surprised how people still like
it, love it,” he said.
Rounding out the list are “job creators/creation,” “boneless
wings” and “passion/passionate.” Those who nominated the last
one say they are tired of hearing about a company’s “passion” as
a substitute for providing a service or product for money.
Andrew Foyle, of Bristol, England, said it’s reached the point
where “passion” is the only ingredient that keeps a chef from
preparing “seared tuna” that tastes “like dust swept from a
station platform.”
“Apparently, it’s insufficient to do it ably, with skill,
commitment or finesse,” Foyle said. “Passionate, begone!”
As usual, the etymological exercise _ or exorcise _ only goes so
far. Past lists haven’t eradicated “viral,” “amazing,” “LOL”
or “man cave” from everyday use.
___
Follow Jeff Karoub on Twitter: http://twitter.com/jeffkaroub

DETROIT (AP) _ Lake Superior State University’s 38th annual list
of banished words:
_ fiscal cliff
_ kick the can down the road
_ double down
_ job creators/creation
_ passion/passionate
_ YOLO
_ spoiler alert
_ bucket list
_ trending
_ superfood
_ boneless wings
_ guru