Banished Words of 2009

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Every January Lake Superior State University in Sault Ste. Marie publishes a list of 15 Words to Be Banished from the Queen’s English for Mis-use, Over-use and General Uselessness.

This year’s losers (and some reasons given for banishing them):

1 Green
2 Carbon Footprint
3 Maverick

4 First Dude – “Skateboard English is not an appropriate way to refer to the spouse of a high-ranking public official.”

5 Bailout – “Use of emergency funds to remove toxic assets from banks’ balance sheets is not a bailout. When your cousin calls you from jail in the middle of the night, he wants a bailout.”

6 Wall Street/Main Street
7 -monkey (all-purpose internet suffix)
8 Icon/iconic
9 Game changer
10 Staycation (stay-at-home-vacation)
11 Desperate Search
12 Not so much
13 Winner of Five Nominations

14 It’s that time of year again – “When is it not ‘that time of year again?”

Any English speaker is eligible to nominate a word and give a reason for its banishment.

Check out the LSSU site:
Origins of the contest
2009 List and reasons for banishment
Submit your choice for 2010 List

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20 thoughts on “Banished Words of 2009”

  1. Green and maverick are definitely the banished words of 2009. And why don’t we just throw in change also. I know we all want a little bit of change but it is definitely annoying.

  2. actually it was t. palin himself that used the term “first dude”- so if that’s how he wants to be called, then i have no problem w/ that at all.

  3. I’ve been a humor columnist for 14 years, and have written about LSSU’s List of Banned Words for five. I always love the list and look forward to it each year. Thanks for the post.

    Maverick is the one I think we can do without., I hated Staycation the moment I heard it, but surprisingly, have never heard of -Monkey.

  4. What about “slam”? Every other headline I read, someone is “slamming” someone else, when in fact they are often only offering a mild criticism or a point of disagreement.

  5. Great list!

    I am so tired of Green-this and Green-that! In the last couple of weeks, I’ve received at least a half dozen “how-to-do-something-in-a-green-manner” articles from eHow. Enough! I’ve been “green” since 1971, when we staged a walk-out to celebrate Earth Day. Let it go (notice I didn’t say — “get over it”). 😉

    “Vet” is another one that ought to be on the list. In fact, until 2007 or 2008, I don’t really recall hearing the word. Suddenly, it was everywhere!

  6. What about the constantly misused word “literally” among people younger than 35? I hear it at least 5 times a day now.

  7. I think if I hear one more PR person utter the phrase”We take this very seriously” I am going to give my TV to Habitat for Humanity.
    Talk about over- use!

  8. Similar to”bailout” in the US is “Credit Crunch” in the UK The BBC especially need to come up with something new, or preferably think positive.

  9. I’d add all those awful ‘business’ phrases like:

    Step up to the plate
    Moving forward
    Blue sky
    Customer centric

    and a hundred others. The English language is beautiful when used properly and it would probably help if the ‘first dudes’ didn’t keep trying to invent new gobbledeygook to try and impress their colleagues.

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