Every year, some place called Lake
Superior State University releases a list of what they call "banished words." These are usually phrases they deem to
have passed their usefulness.
I'm not sure what makes them the
authority on what we shouldn't say anymore, but it gives me an easy
column, giving me at least one week a year where I don't have to try
very hard on this thing. And before you even think, I do put thought
into these things... Mostly.
Without further ado, here's the list,
with political phrases outnumbering everything else. All smarmy
comments are mine.
FISCAL CLIFF: The thing we apparently
just avoided. All over the news, mainly used as a scare tactic to
make us think we're suddenly going to be anywhere from $2,000 to $50,000 poorer this year. I'm not sure where they got those figures,
but when those tax cuts were instigated a few years ago, my pay
didn't go up anywhere near $2,000, yet it's supposed to go down that
KICK THE CAN DOWN THE ROAD: A really
old saying that was co-opted by politicians to say that the "other
party" was putting off a decision on a really
DOUBLE DOWN: Another old phrase
apparently co-opted by politics, but I don't recall hearing it, and I
watch and read a LOT of news. Maybe it was used a lot in that
televised poker stuff?
PASSION/PASSIONATE: Were these words
used any more than normal last year? Maybe I don't hang around people
who jump on the latest trends?
YOLO: Abbreviation for "you only
live once." I only heard of this in recent weeks, but it was
used enough last year to drive the eye rollers crazy.
SPOILER ALERT: Probably everyone has
heard of this one. It's used to let people know you're fixing to be a
jerk and tell either an important plot point or the ending of a movie
or TV show.
BUCKET LIST: The things you want to do
before you kick the bucket. Been around forever, but really jumped
into pop culture after a movie starring two old actors used it in the
title. I'm surprised it took so long to make the list.
TRENDING: A modern day usage meaning
something is being talked about by a large group of people. Almost
completely internet based.
SUPERFOOD: I've never heard this, but
it supposedly refers to food that is super healthy and good for you.
If Doritos is on that list, I'm good to go.
BONELESS WINGS: This one seems kind of
stupid to me. It's a descriptive phrase. I suppose "red car" will tick somebody off and it'll be on the list next year?
GURU: Apparently there are a bunch of
people out there calling themselves guru's because they're
knowledgeable in a certain subject and this makes other people upset.
Kind of reminds me of the old saying (joke), "Those who think
they know everything are really annoying to those of us who do."
The list this year seems kind of weak.
I'll agree that fiscal cliff is getting a little annoying, but most
of these are either passing internet age fads or old sayings that
become popular right after they've been dormant for just the right
amount of time.
I can't think of too many words or
phrases that are popular, yet annoy me. There are some, like "Packers
win," that I wouldn't mind never hearing again. And I really get
tired of hearing somebody who makes $15 million a year (or more) saying a tax increase would hurt them as much as it would hurt me.
Speaking of that, how is it that a year
ago, when that social security tax "vacation" was put in, I
didn't notice any difference in my take home pay, yet raising it back
up 2 percent is supposed to cost me $1,000 a year?
But that's a topic for another time.
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