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Glad to See Some Words That Need to be Banished, But I would Add Some More

A Boomer’s Journal

By Tom Anselm

Yay for us!  We have survived the Mayan Long Count, slipped off the edge of the fiscal cliff only to have a thread of a rope thrown to us by our hard-working (?) representatives, and even made it past the news of Kim Kardashian’s great news from The Stork.  So we can be proud that we endured some of life’s difficult scenario’s.

And now we have a new set of calendar entries to look forward to.  How we use these is ultimately what makes it worth stumb- ing out from under the down comforter on a below-freezing morning.

The folks at Lake Superior State University in Minnesota are asking us to start 2013 by stopping the use of a gaggle of what they list as “Words to Be Banished From the Queen’s English for Misuse, Overuse, and General Uselessness.”

I always thought it was the King’s English, but I guess in today’s world of gender-equity, that works.  Anyway, they’ve put out this fun flock of phrases and words every year since 1975.  I won’t do the whole thing here, but will hit some highlights, and also sneak in some from past lists that definitely should be hidden behind the dryer vent.  Plus I’ve added a few that may never leave us, for better or worse.

I totally agree with their choice of “bucket list,” “trending” and “fiscal cliff”.  I for one am weary of all three, especially the first and the last, even though I just used one to start this piece.  One guy said he wanted to put banishing ‘bucket list ” on his bucket list, a clever way of putting it.  And “trending” is just another attempt to make a verb out of a noun, like “impacting,” which I have previously come out strongly in favor of discarding.

“Epic”, “baby bump” and “YOLO” also made the cut.  Now, not being of a certain age, namely under 25, I’ve never used epic, except to describe a novel or movie.  Today’s version of young adult seem to see it as an adjective for anything from a hamburger to a party they just attended, or were even attending as they “tweeted” their participation.  Whoops, there’s another one… “tweeted”.  What a silly word usage that is.

“Baby bump” doesn’t bother me that much, since it is wonderful to see a woman proud of her extended middle regions, due to being “with child.”  Which brings me to some terms I wish were on the “banish list.”  Too many times, I hear from people that “We’re expecting.”  Honestly, when guys say it, I cringe.  Sorry.  YOU are not growing that kid, SHE is!  Of course, you can take pride in the part you played in the creation, but don’t expect any credit for what will go on for the next few trimesters.       


Another stinker of a line is “at the end of the day.”  Too many times, I hear a sports guy or a politician use this.  It usually isn’t just a day they are talking about, especially in politics, which seldom seems to get anything done until the last possible moment (see “fiscal cliff”… sorry, used it again… ugh.).  And when sports guys utter this line, it’s after a lousy season, or a trade that didn’t work out And how about “battleground state,” or “faith-based”, or “cutting edge,” all of which should be “put to bed.”  I also would not miss that lame goodbye “have a good one”, or “see what I’m sayin’.” “Yuppie” is long gone, and good riddance, along with it’s cohort, “metrosexual”.  And does anyone still refer to their place of abode as their ”crib”, I mean, unless they’re a gangsta?

On the flip side, we have some words that have been around for years and may never leave our usage.  Take “cool”, or “dude”, “pal” and “guys”, “totally” and its companion “awesome”.   We still say “neat” and use “fun” for both a really good time and sarcastically to denote a snooze-athon.

However, I must come to the defense of “YOLO”, which for those who may not know, is an acronym for “You Only Live Once.”  It became the theme for our recent all-family summer vacation to Destin, complete with logo hats, tee-shirts, and for the haute-couture sons of mine, floppy tank tops.  YOLO will forever carry special meaning in our family story. At least at the end of the day, if you see what I’m saying.

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