Friday, December 30, 2011

Justifiable Verbicide, Part 2

In my post titled Justifiable Verbicide on the 11th of December, I referred you to an article about killing useless corporate jargon ... getting rid of expressions like "outside the box," "best of breed," and "value-added." Speaking of added, I added to the original list one of my personal non-favorites, "at the end of the day," while Angelique added "a class act" and Kathy added "the new paradigm" and "cutting edge."

Yep, candidates for justifiable verbicide, every one.

But wait, there's more!

Each year, Lake Superior State University in Sault Ste Marie, Michigan, publishes its List of Words Banished from the Queen's English for Misuse, Overuse and General Uselessness. You can read their archive of banished word lists going back to 1976 here, and the List of Banished Words for 2012. In case you don't have the time to read the entire article, here is the 2012 list, with my comments added ...

Amazing. It's not amazing. Lose it.

Baby Bump. You should never, ever use this term to describe a possibly-pregnant lady. Not only is it stupid, but as humorist Dave Barry once said, ""You should never say anything to a woman that even remotely suggests that you think she's pregnant unless you can see an actual baby emerging from her at that moment."

Shared Sacrifice. What none of us is willing to do. If you're poor or middle-class, you don't think anyone else is making any sacrifices; if you're wealthy, you don't see why you should need to sacrifice anything. This term needs to be sacrificed on the altar of uselessness.

Occupy. In my opinion, this is the absolute prize-winning useless word for 2012. It has lost whatever meaning it originally had, and needs to occupy pride of place in the linguistic trash can.

Blowback. This is a term originally used by the intelligence community to refer to the unintended negative consequences of an operation that seemed like a good idea at the time ... like giving weapons to "freedom fighters" in Afghanistan who are now perfectly happy to use them against us. In popular use, it generally just means resistance. And it needs to be junked.

Man Cave. What more can I say? I call my favorite room my study, and I like it just fine.

The New Normal. It's the expression politicians use when they try to get you to accept things that are worse than they used to be. Advertisers use it, too, generally when they try to convince you to buy established products that are both smaller and more expensive than they used to be.

Pet Parent. I wasn't aware of this expression, which refers to people who treat their pets like little children rather than ... well ... like pets. For the record, Nessa thinks this is a dumb expression, too.

Win the Future. This is a worn-out phrase used by both Republicans and Democrats to keep you from realizing that they've hopelessly screwed up the present.

Trickeration. I hadn't heard this expression before, but it seems to have originated with football announcers and analysts to describe what used to be called a trick play.

Ginormous. Bigger than giant, bigger than enormous, and totally useless. Just say huge.

Thank You in Advance. I've hated this expression for years. It's intended to give a go-on jab to someone you figure will fart off whatever you've asked them to do ... as if proactive thanks will make them do their job. Don't bother thanking Congress in advance ... you're wasting your time.

What are your suggestions for more overused terms to be retired in the coming year? Leave a comment and let me know.

And while you're at it, remember that today is December 30th, which means that you're running out of time to vote for the Ass Clown of the Year. I'll accept your votes until 11:59 PM tonight, and the winner will be announced tomorrow in a second end-of-year post to accompany Cartoon Saturday. Be sure to cast your votes now, and don't forget that - because we're using Chicago/DC electoral rules - you can vote as often as you like for as many candidates as you wish. Your relatives (living and dead), pets, and imaginary friends, can vote, too. Get to it!

Have a good day. Use vivid, not tired language, and be here tomorrow for Cartoon Saturday and the presentation of the Ass Clown of the Year Award!



eViL pOp TaRt said...

I am just so awesomely glad that man cave, baby bump, and blowback made the list. Being curious, I clicked on LSSU's list from 30 years ago. Some words have gone into the refuse bin, but others linger like a vile odor.

LSSU? Those initials sound like a knockoff copy of the real deal.

Hmmm.....did I embed some old words that should be retired? Well, we're in the end-of-the year miscellaneous naughtiness period, before New Year's resolutions come into effect.

Margaret (Peggy or Peg too) said...

A phrase that I dislike is when people swear and then say, "excuse my french." It is not french people. And if you feel the need to say excuse me then don't swear. I swear like a sailor and own it proudly damn it!
My other is "tell us what you really think" after you have expressed an opinion. Aargh that makes me want to slap them! I just did you knucklehead.

Whew, I feel better.

Happy New Year!
Izzy's Pet Parent

Gilahi said...

I rarely agree with George Will, but I was 100% behind him a couple of weeks ago when he suggested that, if a time machine is ever invented, we go back to the time before "it is what it is" was coined and shoot whoever came up with it.

Grand Crapaud said...

To be in "my study" seems to project that I'm doing something intellectual or high-minded; to be in "my man cave" somehow implies that I'm gnawing on bones, swilling beer, and watching porn.

Mike said...

This list made the news last night. Now if you'll excuse me I'm going to go occupy my amazing ginormous man cave.

allenwoodhaven said...

"To be honest", "back in the day" we used to "incentivize people" by encouraging them to "give 110%" so that we'd "push the envelope". We'd "prewarn" everyone that these results would be "a win-win situation". (Now I feel nauseated!)

I've polled people here and there about the ass clown of the year voting. The following are the results:
GOP: 10
Congress: 5
Democrats: 3
Saudi Arabia: 6
Kardashians: 2
Newt Gingrich: 1
I'd have found out more votes, but I got tired of all the mind reading; it's exhausting!