Archives: Banished Words 2000
Millennium - and the
variations: 'the next millennium,' 'the new millennium,'
'into the next millennium,' 'millennium bug.' "It is
the convenient topic for every graduation speech, every
excuse to renew or to do anything," said Lois
Linnert of New York, NY. "It's been attached to
every promotion, ad, event that you can think of,"
said Dave of Duluth, Minn.Kevin Chu of
Cupertino, Calif. said it goes hand-in-hand with the
hype of Y2K, and Elaine Gosling of London, England,
said, "If I wanted to be really grumpy I could point
out that the millennium is not a moment which occurs at
the end of the year, but a full thousand years!"
24/7 - 24/7 is designed
to make stressed people feel even more stressed. Although
it sounds somewhat biblical, 24/7 refers instead to
consumer demand for full service, 24 hours a day, seven
days a week - something only a newborn should be allowed
to request, said Kate Rabe Forgach of Sausalito,
Calif. It seems to be in keeping with the
iconification of our language, in which we
exaggerate our achievements and abbreviate our terms.
- David Tranter of Thunder Bay, Ont. Yeck!
- Kari Jastorff of Sault Ste. Marie, Mich.
Know What I'm Sayin'? (and
variations, You know what I mean? and You
see what Im sayin?) -This phrase
is repeated like a nervous tic by some people even after
the most simple or obvious statement, said Joe
Szymanski of Baltimore, MD. Its likely I
dont (know what theyre sayin). -Len
Nelson of Green Bay, Wisc.
Thinking Outside The Box - Another
overused phrase that unimaginative people use when they
want to sound creative. - Kevin Dunseath of
Once it was the second vowel of the alphabet, now
its the base of the language of technology...Maybe
e-commerce is the future, but e-tailers, e-trade and e-communication
are all E-grad cliches, said Allison Woodworth
of E. Lansing, Mich. If e stands
for electronic, what the heck is electronic-tailing?
Sounds like something a 90s Columbo would do,
- Kevin Dunseath, Calgary, Alb. Why not e-mediately
for an online news site? - Kate Rabe Forgach,
Sausalito, Calif. E-nough is e-nough! - Emma
Sams, Sault Ste. Marie, Mich.
Cybarian -Another symptom of
our electronic age. Proud librarian Cindy Dobrez of
Grand Haven, Mich., said she cant understand
why librarians need to rename themselves every time a new
information resource becomes available. Add a few
filmstrip kits to a library and all of a sudden you must
be a media specialist. Now, with the Internet,
some feel the need to be called cybarians.
Librarians help people find and use information in
whatever format it is delivered.
It's All Good -Similar to
win-win, banished in 1993. Apparently
applicable to almost any situation and meant to fill the
same niche for American youth as no worries
does for Australians. If I hear my employees use it, they
will be fired. - Zachariah Love, Hollywood,
Calif. If the speaker is talking about a huge
chocolate dessert buffet, then it is all good.
- Cathy Cruz, from Wilf Smyths class in
Stratford Central Secondary School, Stratford, Ont.
Road Rage - Nominated by David
Newman of WJR-AM, Detroit, and Carrie Zollner, of
Rochester, Mich., who said, Its an over-used
excuse for driving like a maniac.
Segue -Originally a
musical term, now used in everyday speech. Its just
pompous and pretentious, said Ken Scholz of
Naperville, Ill. Everyone is using it, even
when inappropriate: Excuse me while I segue into
another topic. - Karen of Ballwin, Missouri.
If I hear one more person on TV say this, I will
throw up. - Joanne Smith, Lincoln, Nebraska.
First Annual - Escaped
banishment with first time ever in 1982.
One might hope his event becomes an annual
occurrence, but until the second year, it isnt
annual! Use inaugural, premiere, debut, or first. -
Amy Carter, Indianapolis, Ind.
Issues - Everyone seems to
have a bad case of issues this year, along
with influenza. Its a strange way of saying that
something is bothering someone. If people could no
longer say it, they would be forced to articulate just
what it is that is bothering them. - Leonard L.
Schakel, Lakeland, Minn. Why must we all have
issues to deal with? Its vague,
undefined and typically used in the wrong context.
- Rhonda Kitter, Anchorage, Alaska.
Quality Of Life - As in,
This is a quality of life issue! This
political platform or non-platform is making its way into
candidacies from municipal courts to the presidency,
said Ron Statler of Fresno, Calif.
For The Children - Overused
by politicians, said John Dunlap of Westland, Mich.
We must cut spending, or raise taxes, or limit any
behavior, or pass any law, or go to the moon, or ban guns....for
At Risk - Were all
at risk of being offended by this overused,
misused phrase. It apparently means high risk
without specifying the degree or nature of the risk,
said Calvin Baker of Elmira, Mich. Everyone
is at risk of something.
Sea Change - It is used to
mean a dramatic change or a groundswell
of support. According to Websters, it is an
archaic term that really means a change brought
about by the sea.
Wake-Up Call - Not limited to
late-sleepers in hotels, anymore, wake-up call
is used to mean a warning, as in, This
incident sends a wake-up call to Americans who havent
been paying attention to quality-of-life issues for the
at-risk children. Both sea change and
wake-up call were nominated by many folks,
including listeners of David Newmans radio show
on WJR in Detroit.
World Of Sports
Came To Play - When
referring to sports teams or team members doing well, as
in The Wings came to play. What else would
they be doing? - Ron Elliott, Leamington, Ont.
Flat-Out - When used as an
adverb. Its overused by sports analysts, i.e.
He can flat-out play/run/throw. - Russell
Bowlus, Davis, Calif.
To Action - When we
were delegating projects at a marketing meeting, I was
asked if I could action a particular item on
the list, meaning, could I take care of it? I think
the problem started when action items became
a popular way of describing high priority tasks. - Deborah
Guyer, Cranford, NJ.
To Transition - It started in
business and, much like down-sizing, its
often used to hide an ugly fact, said Julio Vega of
San Jose, Calif. For example, Unit H is
transitioning away from the company, means the
department is being closed. Whats wrong with
make a transition? asks Celia Smith
of Atlanta, Georgia.
To Solution - Another from
the business world. Maybe the e-business world. Pam
Derringer of Marblehead, Mass., said software
companies are guilty of starting it. Pete Eckholm of
Rochester, Minn. said, In todays business
world, everyone is solutioning a problem rather than
To Summit - Widely used when
talking about adventurers climbing to the top of a
mountain, i.e. The party hopes to summit Mt.
Everest tomorrow. - sent via e-mail from P. Haddox.
Regional note: We heard from
several Australians who complained about their countrymens
mis-use of nouns. Rita Cavanagh of Orbost, Victoria,
talked about hearing of legal cases being trialed
instead of tried and Cathy Bedggood of
Melbourne, Victoria said the local football code
notes that injured athletes are to be stretchered
off the field.