From The Pastor At St. Paul's UCC, Freeburg, IL

Words To Be Banished

I don’t know about you, but I’m aware that there are quite a few “buzzwords” out there – words that suddenly become ubiquitous, trendy, overused. I was surprised to read that Lake Superior State University publishes a list each year of “Words to be Banished from the Queen’s English for Misuse, Overuse, and General Uselessness”, tabulated from readers’ submissions. “Green” has come in first this year. (When businesses start advertising that they’re into being green I can’t help but think they don’t mean “green” as in environmentalism but “green” as in “cashing in” on the most recent trend).

The link to the list is here. FYI, here are the words on their list – are there any you would add?

  • Green – one commenter said “I’m all for being environmentally responsible, but this ‘green’ needs to be nipped in the bud.” Ha! My own feelings were expressed in another comment: “If I see one more corporation declare itself ‘green,’ I’m going to start burning tires in my backyard.”
  • Carbon Footprint
  • Maverick
  • First Dude
  • Bailout
  • Wall Street/Main Street
  • Monkey – this one’s new to me…
  • Icon or iconic
  • Game Changer
  • Staycation
  • Desperate Search as in news reports
  • Not so much
  • Winner of five nominations
  • It’s that time of year again

Two words that come to my mind that should be banished for overuse is “disturbing”, as in TV news reports, used when they want you to pay attention to some horror they’re about to show you; and, for misuse, “adult”, as in “adult entertainment”, usually meaning juvenile, immature or undeveloped.

Your suggestions?


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