Monday, January 02, 2012

No Law-Related Terms in 37th Annual List of Banished Words

Lake Superior State University (LSSU) in Sault Ste.Marie, Michigan has published its 37th annual List of Words Banished from the Queen's English for Mis-use, Over-use and General Uselessness.

And the winners are:
  • amazing
  • baby bump
  • shared sacrifice
  • Occupy
  • blowback
  • man cave
  • the new normal
  • pet parent
  • win the future
  • trickeration
  • ginormous
  • thank you in advance
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,

As one can see, none of this year's winners are law-related. However, in the past few years, law-related buzzwords have attracted the attention of language lovers / critics. Earlier Library Boy posts on that include:
  • 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)."
  • '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."
  • 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'. "


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posted by Michel-Adrien at 2:50 pm


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