Redefining the Classroom

Archives: Banished Words 1991

Download a Printable Poster of 1991 Banished Words

Address – "It's political double talk, as in 'We must address that problem.' Perhaps something would actually get done if people would identify, analyze and resolve problems, not just say 'howdy' to them." Jack Dietrich, Albuquerque, New Mexico

Apartments Now Renting – "If apartments can rent, why hire managers?" Nell Gaball, Marquette, Michigan

Budget/Deficit Reduction Plan – "Get real! The only folks with wallets big enough to tackle America's deficit are Japanese bankers. We all know how fat their wallets are from the interest alone! Add in new pork-barrel spending programs attached by Congress and what you've really go t is a black hole/economic collapse/drag-down plan." Nick Sawyer, Escanaba, Michigan

Center Median – "as in, "The snow is causing cars to slide into the center median." Where else could the median be?" Lucinda Gangler, Durand, Michigan

Choreography – (for planning, rather than dancing.)

Close to Everything – In the middle of a commercial area

Creative Differences – "Hollywood speak for 'We hated each other's guts." Dale M. Johnson, Cincinnati, Ohio

Dead Meat – "About as annihilated as you can get." (Editor: Meat means edible flesh. Only cannibals are known to find fresh.

Faux Pearls or Diamonds – "with a certificate of authenticity." Marie Pooler, Aurora, Colorado

Handy-Man Special – Condemned

If You Will – "A most painful, ear-splitting speech affectation. A day does not pass without hearing it at least a dozen times from every politician, government official, talk show host, newscaster, sportscaster, interviewer, interviewee and pseudo intellectual."(Editor:"If you will" may replace "In God We Trust" as the motto for our "kinder, gentler" and secularized nation.) Adam E. Klafta, San Diego, California

Longer Hours – "Users of this phrase mean 'more hours', not longer hours. This is a clear corruption of language and logic"(Editor: A longer hour may be 63 minutes. Watch out workers.) Marty Bloom, La Jolla, California

Lower Level – Basement

Mopping-Up Operation – To refer to a military action. "This is far too friendly a description for a situation where people are being shot. Please eliminate it before we start 'mopping up in the Middle East."(Editor: What's around to mop after the battle? Can you mop-up sand?) Rick Duerson, Escanaba, Michigan

Mouth-Watering Prices – "Gosh, even the prices are mouth-watering!"

Multidisciplinary Current Awareness Product – In a news release advertising a research journal from the Institute for Scientific Information, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Anne Woiwode, Lansing, Michigan

Myself  – The misuse of this reflexive pronoun has been nominated for more than a decade and was banned in 1990. “Please see Mr. Keating (Lincoln Savings and Loan) or myself for any large unsecured loan that you need,” should be “see Charles Keating Jr. or me.” What’s the dodge behind the overuse of myself? The diminishment of personal responsibility? Avoidance of incrimination by self-indulgence? The 1990 worldwide censure failed miserably. Empirical evidence gathered from the press, radio, television (including S-Span) and eavesdropping suggests that myself is disproportionately displacing me in routine usage. The displacement ration is estimated at 5000:1 and maybe expressed, and recalled, if not entirely misunderstood, as E=mc2. E (big Error) = m (me) c (compromised)2 Although no comparable formula had yet been developed, “yourself” and “himself” are fast following “myself” into the helix of misuse. The reflexive pronoun has become a reflex. It appears to be overused or misused by all those who fear being labeled self-serving. It should be termed the “compromise” pronoun. It may also be termed a “refuge pronoun” for those seeking to avoid personal responsibility and any for of accountability and prosecution.