Banned Words of 2010

Suzanne Uncategorized


A new year means a chance to leave some of the tired words and phrases of 2009 in the past. At least that’s the theory of the wordsmiths at Lake Superior State University, who released their 35th annual (deep breath) List of Words Banished from the Queen’s English for Mis-use, Over-use and General Uselessness.

This year’s 15 offenders make up a tech-heavy list. Tweet (and any variation thereof) is included, as is the verb form of friend (as in friending or unfriending someone). App — as a shortened word for application — is another offender. And at the end of a rough financial year, much of the jargon of economic pain has run its course: In these economic times, toxic assets and too big to fail have no place in 2010.

Some surprising omissions? None of 2009’s most overused health care buzzwords were included (public option, anyone?). But President Obama makes the list, though only as a prefix — Obamanomics, Obamanation, etc. — as do his czars. Glenn Beck could need to come up with a whole new vocabulary in 2010.

The small Michigan university receives thousands of nominations over the course of the year before selecting the most flagrant offenders. Does the list hold any actual power? Some of the banned words from 2008 still crept into conversation last year: bailout, Wall Street/Main Street and carbon footprint continue to be abused. Thankfully, First Dude, maverick and game changer were relegated to the sidelines.

The complete 2010 list:

1. Shovel-ready
2. Transparent/Transparency
3. Czar
4. Tweet
5. App
6. Sexting
7. Friend as a verb
8. Teachable Moment
9. In These Economic Times …
10. Stimulus
11. Toxic Assets
12. Too Big to Fail
13. Bromance
14. Chillaxin’
15. Obama as a prefix

Source: Time magazine

So what cliches are you ready to axe? I would never miss these:

“At the end of the day…”
“There you go.”
“Dude.”
“Super” as in “I’m super-excited. That’s super-cool.”

Send in the cliche you would like to be banned by Friday afternoon and I’ll reward the best one with a hot-off-the-press copy of The Choice! Leave a comment here or e-mail mail me: suzanne at suzannewoodsfisher dot com

Looking forward to your overused jargon!