Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Banished words

Lake Superior State University released its 34th annual List of Words to be Banished from the Queen's English last week. This list has apparently been around almost as long as I have, but I've only become aware of its existence this year. The 2008 list includes words/phrases such as "maverick," "Wall Street/Main Street" and "carbon footprint" that have either been overused or have somehow worn out their welcome in our fair language. Or, in the case of "staycation," they never should have become words in the first place.

I'm working on my own list of banished words, which I'm sure I'll expand later:

"Deana's List of Words to be Banished from the Vocabularies of Decent Human Beings Everywhere"

1) “Hoot” as in “That was a hoot!” It just sounds so hick and backwoods to me. Maybe because it’s part of “hootenanny.” Which I also never say.

2) No matter how tired I am, I never, never say “I’m pooped!” And I don’t think you should say it, either. Poop is excrement. It’s not something you are.

3) I don’t call shirts “tops.” I call them shirts. Not sure why.

4) Naturally, I never say “$%^#.” Oh, wait a second. Sometimes I do. So never mind.

5) I try to avoid “polar bear.” I had to go to speech therapy as a kid to work on my “R” sound, and “polar bear” still trips me up sometimes. When I do have to say it, I slow down and concentrate on saying it right so I don’t make a fool of myself.

6) I don’t like the word “discreet.” It makes me think of tampon commercials.

That's my list so far. I'll add more words as they get on my nerves.



  • At Wed Jan 07, 01:53:00 PM, Anonymous Amy Boone said…

    When you mentioned "tops" I immediately thought of the clothing word I loathe-- "slacks". Eeeewww. Doesn't that just sound ugly?

  • At Wed Jan 07, 02:43:00 PM, Blogger Sarah P said…

    I admit that I say "pooped" quite a bit. But then again, since I just had a baby not too long ago, I am often quite literally "pooped". In the last month I have actually found my child's poop on my:
    under my nails.

    That's disgusting. But what can I say? I'm pooped.

  • At Thu Jan 08, 08:08:00 AM, Blogger Deana Nall said…

    I hate "slacks," too. It would have made the list if I had thought of it at the time. My MIL calls pantsuits "slacksuits." Ugh.

  • At Thu Jan 08, 12:20:00 PM, Anonymous Mel said…

    I don't like the phrase "fixing to", as in "getting ready to" do something. So I really don't like it when I hear myself say it. I can't help it. I'm a Texan.

  • At Thu Jan 08, 02:04:00 PM, Anonymous Amy Boone said…

    I am fighting a gag looking at the word slacksuits. Ugh. Grant likes to use the word slacks to annoy me. He'll draw it all out... particularly emphasizing the "l" by hanging his tongue out of his mouth. Ick.

  • At Fri Jan 09, 09:46:00 AM, Blogger Sarah said…

    Cracking up more at Grant Boone turning slacks into a disgusting word, as if it isn't already. Hilarious.

    Like the other Sarah (who also spells her name correctly, thank you) I was frequently 'pooped' (both meanings) as a young mom. I quit using the phrase when one time at church I proclaimed to be 'pooped' and my 2 year old daughter very innocently said, "You poopy, Mommy?" while checking my diaper 'area' as I would do to her. That broke that habit right there.

    BST hates the word 'moist'. The more I think about it, so do I. Troy and I say it to gross each other out.

  • At Fri Jan 09, 12:43:00 PM, Blogger Keith Brenton said…

    I was going to say "TMI," but I was afraid you'd take it personally.

  • At Fri Jan 09, 03:37:00 PM, Anonymous Chad said…

    Words you'll never hear me say include:

    fixin' or fixins

    "Slacks" make me think of elastic band pants that my grandpa wore.

    You'll also never hear me say "you're wrong, dear."

  • At Sat Jan 10, 08:07:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    "Jazzed" drives me crazy. I've never been "jazzed" about anything to my recollection. Perhaps because I can't stand jazz music, unless you count New Orleans jazz. If someone says "I was just so jazzed" it just sounds the MOST dorky. (I do like the word "dorky").

    As a side note - what does Utah have to do with Jazz? Sounds like one of the most un-jazzy places. They seriously should have changed the team name...

    I'm a Believer!

  • At Wed Jan 14, 08:28:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Maybe this isn't a spoken word, but I'm afraid it might be someday.


    That's it. LOL. It's overused to the point of being irritating. It's one thing to use it in a text or IM message, but in an everyday email or note?


  • At Tue Feb 17, 04:55:00 AM, Blogger Lara said…

    I allow "Hoot" if it's said using a Minnesotan accent. Try it. It's not so bad.


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