Archives: Banished Words 1994
Gathered Together- As opposed to what? Gathered apart? Don String Kelly, Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan
Stupid (Bad) Mistake Show me a smart (good) one. Frank Foley, Boston, Massachusetts
Past Experience C.R. Penson, St. Paul, Minnesota
New Recruit Ben Szczesny, Muskegon, Michigan
Always Consistent Oh, really? Not just some of the time? John Rosevear, Milford, Michigan
Helicopters Overhead Heard often from TV newscasters of the Los Angeles area. J.A. Talbot, Grand Terrace, California
Paradigm This has become the educational buzzword of 1993. I would like to see paradigm lost. Nancy Dean, Stephenson, Michigan As in I want to empower a new paradigm of health care. It sounds a lot better saying I want to shut down the hospital and let the people get their own aspirin. Bob Cudmore, The Record, Troy, New York Not only is it roundly mispronounced, but its meaning has grown to mean everything from example to coffee cup. Tom Rademacher, Grand Rapids Press
Dysfunctional Bury it. The dysfunctional family includes all for one reason or another. Carol S. Smith, Fairbanks, Alaska
Stocking Stuffer Mis-used and over-used. Once described inexpensive trinkets and toys. Now used in advertisements to describe 0 cellular telephones and 0 diamond rings. Stuff the stocking stuffer! Trudie Mason, Derek Conlon, Murray Sheriffs, CJAD AM, Montreal, Quebec
There for mean (for you, for us) A formula which seems to avoid such words as cares, loves, and likes. It has a hired feel to it. Dr. Kervorkian is there for you. Ted DeRose, South Haven Public School, Michigan
Youse or Yous As in Would youse like coffee? Only in the North American vocabulary. Tori Cook, MCTV News, Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario
An historic As in an historic moment. Commonly used by news people (print and broadcast). Its wrong! If this abuse is allowed to continue, the next sound you hear from me will be an hiss! Jim Wiljanen, Dewitt, Michigan
Behind Closed Doors One wonders where else the UN Security Council would meet; perhaps on a patio in front of the Empire State Building? John Hershey, Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario
Mother of all - This seems to be a Muslim expression. It became popular during the Mideast War and shows no signs of dying. Leonard Wheat, U.S. Department of Commerce
Reach Out Over-used by politicians who ask us to reach out to all sorts of people or ideas which may not be grasped easily. Ron Karle, East Lansing, Michigan Columnist Mike Royko, who found hundreds of references to reaching out in newspapers, wrote, I hope this column serves to reach out to public figures and encourages them to shut up about reaching out. This should not become a nation of groupers.
Activity Co-Requisite Required Submitted by Audrey Morley and Dr. Susan Branstner of Lake Superior State University, who note that this phrase has appeared in the LSSU class scheduling booklets to replace the words laboratory required.
Skull Flattening Used by Australias Minister for Employment, Education and Training in radio interviews in 1993 to describe cut-backs and job vacancies. The greatest insult since downsizing. Edwin Maher, South Frankston, Victoria, Australia
Accident When two or more automobiles collide, it is most often a careless, or perhaps a stupidity. It could be an inattentive, a thoughtless, or even an indifferent. It is not, as Im certain police statistics will confirm, an accident. Baloney. Either you or the other person had a careless, or a stupidity. Mike Raick, Bloomfield, Michigan
Skyrocket and Spearhead These are non-verbs which should be tossed onto the junk heap. Larry Hogue, Corpus Christi, Texas.
Party when used as a verb. Remember when a party commemorated a specific occasion with celebration? Today the word (used mostly as a verb Lets Party!) has degenerated into a sorry synonym for getting drunk in any bar, any stadium, any car. Jan Shoemaker, English Teacher, Lansing Catholic Central H.S., Michigan
Three-three-three - Jessica Stanaway of Brimley, Michigan, nominated a word which is over-used by sports reporters when describing a team which has won three championships in a row. We cant repeat the words because its a trademark held by Pat Riley of the New York Nicks. Stanaway said whenever she hears the word, it makes her what to thrupchuck. (She wants to make thrupchuck a trademark, too.)
Gifting (or gift as a verb) What happened to giving? Gifting is seen in catalogs everywhere. I wonder if the originator is someone who was not in this country born. J. Gregory Winn, St. Paul, Minnesota
Giant Sucking Sound That giant sucking sound you hear is air displacement as columnist, editors and reporters across the nation rush to their keyboards to make cleaver use of the phrase of the moment, giant sucking sound. Jodie Morris, Publications Editor, California Newspaper Publishers Association, Sacramento, California
Whoomp, There it is! Over-used and wasnt popular in the first place. Sounds stupid and ignorant. Joe Clare, Beal City High School, Mt. Pleasant, Michigan
He/She I think that using the masculine pronoun, when no gender is indicated, should be reinstated. Using he/she breaks the flow of a sentence, and teachers care more about that than they do about sexual equality. Ines Quandel, Central Algoma Secondary School, Desberats, Ontario
Dead Serious While death is certainly a serious business, if you are dead you certainly wont be able to convince people how serious you may be. Caleb Hartmann, St. Marys Cathedral High School, Gaylord, Michigan
Re-Engineering Corporations dont restructure anymore, they dont change direction or focus (another buzzword), they all re-engineer. J.P. Squires, Omaha, Nebraska (LSSU salutes Omaha, the residents of which sent over 100 nominations for this years list. They were urged to act by Omaha World Herald Columnist Robert McMorris.)
Gun Control To me, this means being able to hit your target. Im tired of hearing how this will solve our crime problems, when it wont. Anonymous LSSU student
Offload Ships and trucks used to be unloaded. Lets unload the use of offload and only use unload when were referring to cargo. Michael Eliasohn, St. Joseph, Michigan
More Than Happy If a waiter says hed be more than happy to serve me, I ought to expect him to clap his hands and jump with joy. Stephen Mendenhall, Ann Arbor, Michigan
Reinventing Government Lets get rid of any number of politicians who use this expression, along with those who are growing jobs. Joseph Barrett, Berkeley, California
Politically Correct - LSSU had received many nominations for banishment of this phrase and the idea of being politically correct. Some of the words and phrases banished during the past few years have been politically correct expressions (i.e. Fisherperson in 1992), but P.C itself has been left off the list until now. Here are some samples of the calls for nomination:
James B. Whyte of Newmarket Ontario, said we should continue to use, if not overuse, politically correct euphemisms such as strategically dehired for fired. Used enough times as a term of opprobrium, even the most thoroughly sanitized euphemisms will start to stink, its rigid correctness wilting in the light of the truth.
Tori Cook of MCTV News in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, said, Its overused. Besides, most people believe politicians are always wrong.
Michael Tardif of Lansing Catholic Central High School in Michigan seems to agree with Cook, and said political correctness and politically correct are oxymorons.
Nadine Clark of Dearborn Heights, Michigan, said, Politically correct, politically incorrect who cares?
He/she Just Didnt Get It Popularized after the Anita Hill/Clarence Thomas debate It (supposedly) indicates someones inability to understand what the rest of us find obvious. Senator Packwood just doesnt get it. Saddam Hussein just doesnt get it. David Goldberg, Ann Arbor, Michigan
Baddaboom, Baddabing For over-use. George Carlin, Los Angeles, California
Clearly Ambiguous This phrase is used often in federal student financial aid forms and applications. Tim Malette, Director of Financial Aid, Michigan Technological University, Houghton, Michigan
Sketchy Details An unpardonable contradiction of terms by someone trying to say that information is limited. Jack Dietrich, Albuquerque, New Mexico