Saturday, January 01, 2011

36th Annual List of Banished Words

Lake Superior State University (LSSU) in Sault Ste.Marie, Michigan has published its 36th annual List of Words Banished from the Queen's English for Mis-use, Over-use and General Uselessness.

And the winners are:
  • Viral
  • Epic
  • Fail
  • Wow factor
  • A-ha moment
  • Backstory
  • BFF
  • Man up
  • Refudiate
  • Mamma Grizzlies
  • The American people
  • I'm just sayin'
  • Facebook or Google used as a verb
  • Live life to the fullest
The complete archive of banished words is on the university website. The list started in 1976 and is based on submissions by the general public. LSSU receives well over 1,000 nominations annually through its website,

Earlier Library Boy posts on the topic include:
  • Banished Words List 2006 (January 2, 2006): "Lake Superior State University in Sault Ste.Marie (Michigan) is continuing its tradition of compiling an annual Banished Words List, or 'List of Words Banished from the Queen's English for Mis-Use, Over-Use and General Uselessness' first launched in 1976'."
  • American Dialect Society Words of the Year 2005: Legal Expressions 'Patent Troll', 'Extraordinary Rendition' Make List (January 11, 2006): "A few other law-related terms scored highly in the 'most euphemistic' category (hmmmm, I wonder why): 'internal nutrition: force-feeding a prisoner against his or her will' and 'extraordinary rendition: the surrendering of a suspect or detainee to another jurisdiction, especially overseas' (in order to be tortured by a friendly dictatorship with less regard for the niceties of courts and a legal defense)."
  • Merriam-Webster's Words of the Year 2006 (December 12, 2006): " 'Truthiness', a term coined by the American satirical TV show The Colbert Report, has been chosen as the word of the year by dictionary maker Merriam-Webster. Truthiness is defined as 'truth that comes from the gut, not books", or "the quality of preferring concepts or facts one wishes to be true, rather than concepts or facts known to be true'. It was the American Dialect Society word of the year in 2005."
  • Banished Words List of 2006 (January 1, 2007): "It has been a tradition since Jan. 1, 1976 for Lake Superior State University in Sault Ste.Marie, Michigan to publish its annual List of Words Banished from the Queen's English for Mis-Use, Over-Use and General Uselessness. The list is published every New Year's Day... Among the choices for 2006 are: Combined celebrity names like Brangelina; Awesome ; Gone missing ; Now playing in theaters; We're pregnant; Drug deal gone bad; i-Anything"
  • 'Plutoed' Voted Word of the Year by American Dialect Society (January 7, 2007): "In its 17th 'word of the year' contest, the American Dialect Society chose 'plutoed': 'To pluto is to demote or devalue someone or something, as happened to the former planet Pluto when the General Assembly of the International Astronomical Union decided Pluto no longer met its definition of a planet' (...) There were a number of law-related terms considered for this 2006 edition, including data Valdez: an accidental release of a large quantity of private or privileged information. Named after the 1989 oil spill by the Exxon Valdez in Prince William Sound, Alaska; waterboarding (winner in the most euphemistic category): an interrogation technique in which the subject is immobilized and doused with water to simulate drowning; reported to be used by U.S. interrogators against terrorism detainees."
  • Oxford American Dictionary Word of the Year (December 3, 2007): "Locavore refers to an environmentally conscious shopper who seeks out locally grown foodstuffs that can be bought and prepared without the need for extra preservatives (...) To tase is the only one that has any relation to legal issues."
  • 2008 List of Banished Words (January 2, 2008): "This year, in a gesture of humanitarian relief, the committee restores 'truthiness,' banned on last year's list, to formal use. This comes after comedians and late-night hosts were thrown under the bus and rendered speechless by a nationwide professional writers' strike. The silence is deafening."
  • 2009 List of Banished Words (December 31, 2008): "Among this year's list are: green anything; carbon footprint and carbon offset (...)"
  • Most Annoying and Overused Buzzwords (November 23, 2009): "There is an article in this week's edition of The Lawyers Weekly about all those irritating buzzwords that have invaded the professions, including the law. Among the phrases discussed in the article are: leverage, viral, disconnect and interface. And 'outside the box'. "
  • 35th Annual List of Banished Words (December 31, 2009)


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posted by Michel-Adrien at 5:02 pm


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