Posted by Tom Gable
Lake Superior State University recently released its annual Banished Words List. First started in 1975, the list is culled from tens of thousands of nominations and includes the best of the worst from marketing, media, education, technology, politics and more.
Interested in contributing? Check their alphabetical complete list first. For the 2010 list, including comments from various sources, read on:
SHOVEL-READY — A cadaver? Potted plant? Suggestion: a project ready to implement.
TRANSPARENT/TRANSPARENCY — Cynics say it means politically invisible.
CZAR — A media term for those given major powers and authority, ala missile, inflation, bird flu, car, etc. LSSU noted that George W. Bush appointed 47 people to 35 czar jobs; Pres. Obama, eight appointments to 38 positions. One wag noted presidents hand out czar positions like party favors. Suggestion: leader, director, manager, CEO, etc.
TWEET — And all its offspring: twitterature, tweetaholic, twittersphere, tweeps, twiteracy, etc.
APP — Annoying abbreviation. Reader suggestion: call them programs once again.
SEXTING – Overhyped. Do the media and talk show hosts encourage the behavior?
FRIEND AS A VERB — The Oxford English Dictionary actually selected unfriend as their top new word of the year, given the growth of friending and related terms on social media sites. LSSU entrant suggestion: befriend. And defriend?
TEACHABLE MOMENT — Is it a time when a mentor has the opportunity to provide a valuable lesson to an individual, class, network or broader constituency? Or, on the down side, getting hit in the face for a rude comment at a bar is a teachable moment, as are political failures, economic policies gone awry, having your sexting messages discovered by your wife, flunking out of college, etc. Suggestions: learning opportunity or lessons.
IN THESE ECONOMIC TIMES — Used as a verbal tic or introductory clause, stating the obvious in political speeches or creating excuses for companies that fell short of their earnings forecasts, stopped selling homes, filed for bankruptcy, laid off staff, etc. Suggestion: stop using it.
STIMULUS – Recreational drugs? CPR? Suggestion: use clear nouns, such as loans and grants.
TOXIC ASSETS — Anthrax? A dirty nuclear weapon? Suggestions from the crowd: bad mortgage portfolios, bad debts, bad loan packages, loan default portfolio.
TOO BIG TO FAIL — Totally wrong if you believe in market forces. Failure is a natural correction. If it hasn’t been run right, a company or institution doesn’t deserve to continue with government subsidies ad infinitum. Let the competitors take up the slack, which they will quite rapidly.
BROMANCE – Sounds like a term created by metrosexuals. Suggestion: how about friends?
CHILLAXIN‘ — (Picture a Gen-Y metrosexual relaxing with his martini on an art deco chair at a gallery opening. Then hit “Delete All.”
OBAMA-prefix or roots? — The name Obama has a nice meter to it and lazy journalists, commentators and critics can easily attached to other constructs: Obamanomics, Obamacare, Obamaland, Obamanation, etc. Instead, come up with clear descriptions and definitions. As the LSSU word czars noted: “We say Obamanough already.”)
Next: additional words to avoid for 2010 and beyond!