Words to avoid in the New Year: ‘I’m just sayin,’ there may be a ‘back story’ to this ‘a-ha moment’ that will go ‘viral’

I love the list of words that, presented as “Lake Superior State University’s 36th annual List of Words Banished from the Queen’s English for Mis-use, Over-use and General Uselessness.”

VIRAL
“Often used to describe the spreading of items on the Internet i.e. ‘The video went viral.’ It is overused.

EPIC
“Over-use of the word ‘epic’ has reached epic proportions.”

FAIL
“Fail is not a noun. It is not an adjective. It is a verb.

WOW FACTOR
“Done-to-death phrase to point out something with a somewhat significantly appealing appearance.”

A-HA MOMENT
“All this means is a point at which you understand something or something becomes clearer. Why can’t you just say that?”

BACK STORY
“This should be on the list of words that don’t need to exist because a perfectly good word has been used for years. In this case, the word is ‘history,’ or, for those who must be weaned, ‘story.”

BFF
“These chicks call each other BFF (Best Friends Forever) and it lasts about 10 minutes. Now there’s BFFA (Best Friends For Awhile), which makes more sense.”

MAN UP
“A stupid phrase when directed at men. Even more stupid when directed at a woman.

THE AMERICAN PEOPLE
“These politicians in Congress say ‘the American People’ as part of what seems like every statement they make!”

I’M JUST SAYIN’
“‘A phrase used to diffuse any ill feelings caused by a preceded remark,’ according to the Urban Dictionary. Do we really need a qualifier at the end of every sentence?

FACEBOOK/GOOGLE as verbs
“Facebook is a great, addicting website. Google is a great search engine. However, their use as verbs causes some deep problems. As bad as they are, the trend can only get worse, i.e. ‘I’m going to Twitter a few people, then Yahoo the movie listings and maybe Amazon a book or two.”

LIVE LIFE TO THE FULLEST
“It’s an absurdity followed by a redundancy. First, things are full or they’re not; there is no fullest. Second, ‘live life’ is redundant. Finally, the expression is nauseatingly overused.

And then two from Sarah Palin:

REFUDIATE
“Adding this word to the English language simply because a part-time politician lacks a spell checker on her cell phone is an action that needs to be repudiated.”

MAMA GRIZZLIES
“This analogy of right-wing female politicians should rest in peace.”

My only argument with the list is the bias demonstrated by including these two amusing Palin-isms, without balancing the politics with a Obama-ism, such as “unprecedented.”  I’m just sayin.

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About Jim Jewell

I am a writer and consultant on faith and public life, active for many years in management and communications in the evangelical community. I now work as the director of the nonprofit practice at The Valcort Group (www.valcort.com). Everything on this blog, however, is my personal opinion and is not read or approved before it is posted. Opinions, conclusions and other information expressed here do not necessarily reflect the views of Valcort.
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