Redefining the Classroom

Archives: Banished Words 1990

Download a Printable Poster of 1990 Banished Words

Alcoholic – "We have workaholic, spendaholic, shopaholic, chocoholic, foodaholic… popular psychobabble that should be buried alongside the arrogant intellectuals who revel in its use." David O'Connor, Willoughby, Ohio

All Except – "Entirety can't have a minus"

Almost Exactly – Quoted from Gentlemen's Quarterly, September, 1989. Bill Gould, Gladwin, Michigan

Best Kept Secret – “What has happened to confidentiality? It seems that all over the country, important secrets are being revealed; from the West Virginia official state highway map – ‘America’s best-kept secret; from a Columbia University brochure – Columbia University’s ‘best kept secret(s)’ are the great job opportunities at Columbia Dining Services. Or ‘one of snowmobiling’s best kept secrets: Marquette, Michigan.’ Are we really hearing confessions of previously incompetent advertising? Or desperate attempts to create new categories for the Guinness Book of Records? Or what? (Ed.: We’re not sure, folks. The answer must be another one of those “best kept secrets.” Jim, Linda, David and Karen Belote Duluth, Minnesota

Climb Down  – “Climb is up. Down is descend.” Ben Szczesny, Muskegon, Michigan.

Drug Czar – “How about anti-drug czar.” Ruth Hood, Warren, Michigan.

Estates in the Names for Mobile Home Parks – “Refinery View Mobile Home Estates.”

Ethics Bill – “Congressional expression for ‘pay raise.’” Jerry Jones, Cincinnati, Ohio.

Exact Same – Exactly. (Editor: As in “She is the exact same size as I am, large petite.” This phrase was noted in our 1981 list under “Redundancy Alert.” Exact Same now gets a “red alert” and an appropriate banishment.) Ben Szczesny, Muskegon, Michigan.

Fax - New verb – “I hate to hear some one ask , ‘Fax me a copy, will ya?’” (Editor: sounds like what Jack Webb was always seeking on “Dragnet.” “Just the fax, ma’am.” Will some company develop a faster fax, a super fax? A fax tax? A mad fax? OK, Max.) Ronald R. Watcke, Detroit, Michigan.

Filmed Before a Live Studio Audience added 1983*, added 1987*, added 1990*) – “The alternative is a bit grisly.” Ruth A. Hood, Warren, Michigan.

From the Desk of – “Note pads with this vanity caption. I have seen a lot of desks…never one that can write a note.” From the hand of: David O’Connor, Willoughby, Ohio.

Grandfather – “We can grandfather those items in the labor agreement.”

Impact – (The most nominations) – “The effect of a sledge hammer has on a brick wall, or a car on a utility pole. Those who use it otherwise probably don’t know the difference between ‘effect’ and ‘affect.’” (Ed.: Too many times we’re subjected to a radio or television news reader saying something like: “We’ll soon know how we’re to be impacted by the rising costs of groceries.” Perhaps the impact of a good slap in the head would curtail such irritating misuse of language.) Dave Summers, Holly, Michigan.

Large Size Petites – “If you can have a large size small items, can you have small size large items?” Beverly J. Welch, Holly, Michigan.

Liposuction – “Ugly, ugly word; often mispronounced…visions of four lips stuck together, or an infected lip being treated, or having verbal influence, pull in high places.” Nadine Clark, Dearborn Heights, Michigan.

Maximum Leader – “Nice try, General Noriega. It’s a dictator.” Name Withheld By Request, New York, New York.

Messenger – “Sorry, but you cannot ‘messenger’ anything, anywhere. Messenger is a noun. Why not use a simple verb, ‘send’ or ‘deliver?’” Carolyn P. Beeker, Charlotte, North Carolina.

A Mind is a Terrible Thing to Waste – (several nominations) – “A mind is not a terrible thing; however, it is a terrible thing to waste a mind.” Maryann McKie, Troy, Idaho.

Minor Emergency Clinic – “Either something is an emergency, or it isn’t.” Carol A. McClendon, Fort Worth, Texas.

The More You Buy, The More You Save –“Well, honey, how much should I buy?” “Gee, I don’t know sugarplum. Just keep buying until you think you have saved enough.” Rick Duerson, Escanaba, Michigan.

Mute Point  – Should be MOOT. (Ed.: Unless you’re a mime using a pencil, or a bird-hunting dog.) Bill Ziegler, Troy, Michigan.

Myself – “Boofy, Weenie and myself saw another flying saucer last night.” Incorrect Use “.” (Ed.: You should check the dictionary for yourself.) Helen Larson, Creighton, Nebraska

Outstate Michigan – “This seemingly-innocuous word (OUTSTATE) grates on my sensibilities like fingernails across a blackboard . . . The implication being that Detroit IS Michigan and the rest of the Michigan land mass is out of the state . . . What’s Detroit? Instate? . . . Big city newspapers and “downstate” legislators are the worst offenders . . . even the Governor is guilty! It’s time us “UP-STATERS” band together and put “OUT-STATE” in its final resting place. Buried forever! (OUT OF STATE) Yvonne Carlson, Ludington, Michigan

These Ones – "makes me cringe . . . Why not say what you mean? These socks, these knees, or just plain these." Nell Gaball, Marquette, Michigan

Thus – "And its feeble first cousin "thusly." Eliminate this useless, pretentious stall word and all of its thoughtless cousins such as "and what not" and all readers and listeners will be spared hundreds of hours of wasted time." David J. Yarington, Orono, Maine

Vis-a-Vis – "used inappropriately by those who don't use English properly, let alone French." Larry McConnell, Sturgis, Michigan

Wanted: Part-Time Person – "what is the person the rest of the time?" (A part time squid?) Fanet K. Brice, Baraboo, Wisconsin

Yo – "As in 'YO DUDE'" (Ed.: Remains correct when repeated, yo-yo)