Archives: Banished Words 1982
Malcolm Baldrige - U.S.
Secretary of Commerce, has speeded the nation's commerce
with Washington by fearless banishment from the
Department of such phrases as "to liaison with,"
"to task out," "and that's what it's all
about," more than two "alternatives" and
"in terms of;" - These nominations by the
secretary as the worst of a much longer list have all
been accepted by the Unicorn Hunters for 1982 banishment.
and ordered his word processors (typewriters with pseudo
brains) programmed to refuse to print them. For this and
other heroic deeds he is dubbed the first Knight Sans
Pareil of the Unicorn Quest (with sword): Sir Malcolm of
First Time Ever/All-Time Record -
These two phrases were born on the sports pages, moved to
page one, and were indecently exposed on the hallowed
editorial pages. It is only a matter of time before they
are united into a single monster of redundancy and
inaccuracy. - Nominated by John Matheson of Sault Ste.
Marie, Mich. with the comment, "If a record stands
for all-time, OK. But if it is broken tomorrow, or the
day after, or the next year, or 1988, then the all-time
doesn't stand the test of time."
Classic - Every new
tournament "in any sport is automatically labeled a 'classic'
by its promoters." -Cynthia Pappas.- "The
initial game between two lackluster teams is advertised
as the 'First Annual Boredom Classic' : - Cynthia Pappas,
World Class - Which has
come to mean everything . . . and nothing; from "salmon
dish" (Detroit News Sunday Magazine) to "swindler"
Patriate and Patriation -
"Coined by Canadian Federal politicians after they
discovered that 'repatriation' meant being returned to
one's native land, and unfortunately didn't apply to our
own constitution." - The Sault (Ontario) Star in
announcing the winners of their word banishment
elimination nominations. Nominator Susan Metzger added:
"Everyone is sick of the word." The Canadian
government has asked the British Parliament to "patriate"
a constitution for Canada, a document our neighbors to
the north do not have, at the moment.
Words to Deceive
Off-Sourcing - For
"importing." - "If I buy an imported car I
am a traitor. If Ford or Gm buy parts in Haiti or
Bangladesh, the ae 'off-sourcing.'" - Donald Smith,
Repository - Can mean
"dump." "Repository" it its use as an
euphemism for "dump." Dan Bammes, KRSP Radio,
Salt Lake City, Utah.
Revenue Enhancement -
Simply means "increasing taxes." - Nominated by
Joseph F. Powers, Jr., Whitmore Lake, Mich.
- As being dangerously misleading and over emphatic
statements. RETARD means "to gradually make smaller.
I know that my daughter's brain will not get smaller. I
also know that with proper stimulation she will be able
to learn and to understand much more than we believe
possible. Give the mentally handicapped a little help by
banishing a very old word which we no longer apply in
today's society. - Christa Buchan of Regina, Sack. Canada.
TERMINAL ILLNESS is not "terminal" until the
point of death. "Because of a serious illness - the
active phrase of which is usually fatal - I am now living
with a 'chronic illness.' It is being successfully
treated but cannot be cured." - "A friend, as I
was recovering, encouraged me to look at words as the
symbols they are. He pointed out that until the point of
death a disease isn't terminal but only life threatening.
I have found this picture easier to live with. Many
people with serious illnesses might help themselves a lot
if they could only appreciate how words can affect them."
- E. Delores Dickey, Thunder Bay, Ont.
Sit On It - Teenager Dan
Latimore says this is "one of the most stupid
phrases in the English language." Dozens of our
nominators agreed. So do we. - His teacher, Janice Miller
of New London (Conn.) Senior High School, encouraged her
class to submit nominations, as did teachers in many
other schools. Almost all such nominations were excellent.
Harya Doone - "Is
this," asks Bob Crawford of New York City, "Lorna
Doone's brother?" He ranks it with "gonna."
So say we all!
Hot Water Heater -
"Since when does hot water need to be heated?"
- Nominated by anonymous listener to Rob Westaby, WOWO
Radio, Fort Wayne, Indiana.
Appall and Obviously -
Michele Mooney - of Los Angeles. Book Editor art
Seidenbaum noted on one of the pages, "Appalling,
indeed." Collection assembled over seven months. -
stapled to her letter of nomination more than eight pages
of sentences and paragraphs which she had clipped from
newspapers (mostly, Los Angeles Times) which included
"obviously," 205 times and "appalling,"
132. She complains that this "shows a total lack of
imagination on the part of the writers." As you may
deduce, we, too, are distressed.
Alexander Haig - U.S.
Secretary of State, because of his misuse and abuse of
the English Language over an extended period (even longer,
when listening), his convoluted syntax, and his apparent
use of confusing English to avoid answering questions he
wishes unanswered, is herewith Forbidden the Use of
English (oral and written) and required to communicate in
classical Latin for six months probation. - Some of his
favorite phrases: counterproductive (they aren't doing
what I want them to do), value judgment (I don't agree),
maturation (getting old), and: I think the issue is that
we do have a tendency to indulge in episodic
preoccupation, if you will, with one another on the
strategic horizon. (??!!)