Archives: Banished Words 1996
sets my teeth on edge. Writers try to outdo each other
finding finishes or flourishes to the C-word.
Michelle Mooney, Los Angeles. (Michelle, a
longtime follower of the Word Banishment effort, sent us
a cyber-ton of newspaper clippings to prove her point.
Among the cyber-coins: cyberia, cyberconcert, cyberspuds,
cybertherapy, cyber mall, cybercommunity, cybernaut,
cyberheaven, cybersea, cybersex, cyberpunk, and cyburbia.)
Where is the line that everyone is on?
It sounds like someplace a fish should be not a
computer user. Michelle Batterbee, Ellsworth,
Is it, or isnt it? Jean Barnard,
Lake Orion, Mich.
O.D.-ing on O.J.
In spite of the attention paid to the O.J. Simpson trial,
only a handful of trial-related nominations were offered.
Most of the submissions were the ones you would expect,
including: O.J. for over-use. Billie Rae
Bates, Detroit. (Many other readers expressed similar
sentiments: Just say NO J.)
The Race Card
Angela M. Otterbein, Bad Axe, Mich. (Many nominations for
sidebar came from radio talk shows throughout the country.)
No other word had dominated had. Weve heard
Nirvana unplugged, Mariah Carey unplugged, even KISS
unplugged. The word has spread outside the music industry,
too ever see the Muppets unplugged? What about T.V.
Bloopers unplugged? Its ubiquitous.
Jeff Barak of Minneapolis, through Brian Oakes
morning show on REV 105.
Please stop revisiting issues, ideas, statements,
etc. How about revisiting Aunt Martha? Jack
Pollard, Lansing, Mich.
Your Call Is Very Important
To Us If my call was really
important, there would be a real live person to answer
the phone, and enough people on duty do one would not be
left hanging on hold and functioning as an unpaid
telephone operator. John Mertes, somewhere
Cleansing Why not just plain murder?
James Blashill, LSSU professor and chairman of
Criminal Justice & Fire Science.
There, Done That (Another entry from
Blashill. First of all, who cares? Been where? Done
what? It is REALLY overused.)
Music Is it truly a new concept,
like jazz, pop, country, etc., or is it an alternative to
something? Alternative to what? Beverly
Meyers, Pickford, Mich.
Run With It
Base In baseball, base-touching
with someone is invariably a BAD thing to do, whether
with a teammate or an opposing player. F.
Willard Brooks, somewhere in cyberspace.
(Several others touched base with this nomination and
want it struck out.)
Deal Perhaps this qualifies for the
redundant category as well as being over used: if it isnt
a deal, its not done. Jack Z.
DeLorean, Bloomfield Village, Mich.
Bang For The Buck This one really
grates on my spinal column. I just hate it.
Eric Brooks, morning show producer at WEAT/WOLL Radio,
West Palm Beach, Fla. (Gee, how do you REALLY feel about
it, Eric? We heard from others who felt your pain.)
To get closure. To come
to closure. (Several nominations, including Torontos
Talk 640 AM radio and Pam Holmes, English teacher at
Chelsea High School, Chelsea, Mich. Whats
wrong with saying finish or decide?)
The Same Page I dont mind
following the game rules, but cant I read a
different book? Norma Jean Acker, English
teacher, Maple Valley H.S., Vermontville, Mich. (Also
nominated by listeners of David Newmans show on
Instead of just saying, yes.
(Ronald Donoghue of Farmington Hills, Mich., said it had
its origins of overuse in the film Rocky.
Absolutely! is another favorite nomination of
The Business Report
(We heard from the educators on this one,
including:) Theyre weary of hearing how to
grow an economy or grow their employees.
English Dept. Chairman Doug Cartwright, Goshen H.S.,
Goshen, Ind., and Tim Clancy, Ishpeming H.S., Ishpeming,
not bothered by an inanimate growee as the subject of a
sentence: The economy grows. Nor, of course,
am I bothered by a direct object which is living: We
grow corn. Mary Schwark, Spanish
instructor at Henry Ford Community College, Dearborn,
Mich. (None said they could grow and ironclad case for
misuse, but all voted in favor of overuse.)
Examples of its overuse: upscale
homes, upscale villages, upscale,
rural neighborhoods, even upscale soft drinks
Nancy Fletcher, Oscoda, Mich.
an old, overused, 1980s yuppie expression. Whats
the opposite of upscale? Downscale? David
Please accept my nomination, due to
abuse and overuse of the word robust (in the
auto industry, only). Rob Robinson, Livonia,
Mich. (Rob pulled nine references to robust
processes, robust materials, and robust
packaging, from the first 13 pages of the Ford
Automotive Operations MS-9000 requirements.)
is used to often to describe various designs.
Carlos Altgelt, Dearborn Heights, Mich.
Driving forces within the
automotive industry that continue to favor plastics,
include: Lightweighting. LSSU Alumnus Ron
Bishop, Lowell, Mich. (Ron discovered the word as it was
used in the June 1995 issue of Plastics World magazine,
by the way
congratulations, Ron. You were the first
person to use cyberspace to submit a
For generations the term to
bail had been universally understood. But
Washingtons word merchants have recalled bailing.
Official U.S. Coast Guard documents replaced the time-honored
term with de-watering. Quick! Don your
Personal Flotation Device (what we used to call a life
vest) and, as the publication directs, grab a de-watering
device and start de-watering our sinking ship. Our de-deaths
depend on it! John E. Bates, Jr., Warren,
(From folks who are paying close attention to Newt
Gingrichs speeches. They nominated frankly as
overused by the Speaker of the House.) Gingrich used
frankly 12 times in a late November speech.
Margaret DeChant, Boca Raton, FL.
Statements Many companies are
wasting incredible amounts of time and effort (and
sometimes cash) to define these, with no noticeable
benefit. Meir Pann, Miami Springs, FL.
And Every One Of You
speeches of sliver-tongued speakers who have nothing to
say, yet insist on saying all of it, and more!
Dr. Steve Person, LSSU biology professor.
and Dangerous (When referring to a
criminal at-large, perhaps the term should be Armed
and MORE Dangerous.) Dennis Srednicki, Novi,
Sense If its so common, why
doesnt everyone have it? AP English
Class, Maple Valley High School, Vermontville, Mich.
A truly Orwellian juxtaposition of words.
They call it terrorism when perpetrated by freelance
criminals. Tony Pivetta, Royal Oak, Mich.
Fill Dirt Joyce Hennon, teacher, Michigan
School for the Deaf, Flint, Mich.
(Finally, a note to the students at Bethesda
Christian School, Warren, Michigan who asked us to banish
homework. Sorry, pal. We had to do it. So do