Like any word geek, I always enjoy a good round-up of words and catch phrases that have overstayed their welcome, and was delighted when a friend sent me a link to the website of Lake Superior State University in Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan:
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. (Full list here)
I confess, I have a word of my own to contribute. I was recently interviewed for an industry magazine, and discovered–on reading the published article–that I overuse the word “really” as a modifier. Things were “not really difficult” or “really exciting” and I was “really committed”, etc. I lamented to Pilgrim Soul that I sounded like a Valley Girl. So I am taking my cue from the students at LSSU, and am starting 2010 by banishing”really” from my vocabulary, for reasons of Mis-Use, Over-Use and General Uselessness.
Anyone want to join me in a resolution? Or suggest words/phrases for the list?