Friday, January 24, 2020

BAD word! Sit! Stay!

Thought for the day: Man invented language to satisfy his deep need to complain.  [Lily Tomlin]

[image courtesy of unsplash]


Most of you already know it, but I'm a total word freak who revels in the nuances and quirky idiosyncrasies of the English language. As far as I'm concerned, it's a never-ending source of delight and amusement.

I mean, some words are just fun to say, dontcha think? Words like diddly squat, discombobulate, nincompoop, floozy, canoodle, patootie, and keister tickle my funny bone.

Any fun words you'd like to add?






[image courtesy of unsplash]


Some words also have the ability to make me cringe, but they aren't necessarily the so-called naughty words that once-upon-a-time merited a mouth-washing in our society. No, the words that bug me the most are the ones that drip with cruelty and unkindness. It's unconscionable that language, which can be used to edify and uplift, is too often wielded like a weapon to inflict pain.

And then there are the words we're gonna look at today. They're words that some people say should be... banished. Thrown into a dark dungeon and destined to languish in some dark corner with nothing but bread and water forever.

Kinda.

Every January first, Lake Superior State University publishes a tongue-in-cheek list of words deemed worthy of banishment from our lexicon. The first list came about as the result of a New Year's Eve party conversation, in which school P.R. director W.T. Rabe and some of his colleagues entertained themselves by talking about their word pet peeves. (I can totally imagine doing the same thing... how about you?) Just for kicks, Rabe published them the next day, and they received so much feedback and received so many suggestions of other words that should be decommissioned, the next year's list practically wrote itself. Ever since then, the annual list has been compiled from suggestions received from around the world. Nope, there's no teeth in this list. Just a little bit of fun.

[image courtesy of morguefile]
Here, marking year 45, are the words that have been kicked to the proverbial curb this year. (If you feel sorry for them, feel free to open the gate and let 'em back in... )

Quid pro quo: This phrase received the most nominations this year, with a noticeable spike in November (gee, we wonder why…). The popularity of this phrase has the committee wondering what it should offer in exchange for next year’s nominations.



Artisanal: One nominator described this word as an “obfuscation,” describing an “actual person doing something personal for another unknown person.”  The committee agrees this word should be banned for well water… but not for sandwiches.
Curated: Like “artisanal,” this seems to be another attempt at making something more than it is, especially when used in reference to social media (or Banished Words Lists). As Barb from Ann Arbor says, “Save it for the museum.”
Influencer: According to Urban Dictionary, “A word Instagram users use to describe themselves to make them feel famous and more important when no one really know who they are or care.”
Literally: Surprisingly, this word hasn’t already been banished, but here it is, one of the few words in English that has begun to serve as its own antonym. Many of the nominators cite this word’s use for figurative expressions or emphasis, which is literally annoying.
I mean: It’s easy to see why this phrase was nominated, right? I mean…
Living my best life: The committee very much enjoys exercising its authority in banishing words annually–literally the capstone of our year–but as Eric says, apart from reincarnation, are there “options for multiple lives”?
Mouthfeel: A word used by foodies to describe the texture of food or drink in the mouth, which the committee feels should be banished entirely from food reality TV shows. As our nominator asks, “Where else, exactly, would you like to touch your food or beverage?” This one just doesn’t feel right in the mouth.
Chirp:  This one is a new insult for the non-millennials on the committee. Before we get chirped for being out of touch, as our nominator suggests, why don’t we leave it to the birds?
Jelly: An abbreviation of “jealous,” the committee agrees with the nominator of this word who suggested that it’s better left for toast.
Totes: Another abbreviation, this time of “totally.” Totes overused.
Vibe / vibe check: A new use of the 60s term, “good vibes.” This one just doesn’t vibe with us anymore, unless the speaker is actually vibrating.
OK, Boomer: This phrase caught on late this year on the Internet as a response from millennials to the older generation. Boomers may remember, however, that generational tension is always present. In fact, it was the Boomers who gave us the declaration: “Don’t trust anyone over 30!”
Are there any words or phrases you'd like to  add to the list? (If you wanta do it for real, see the school's nominating form  HERE)
You know, I was thinking...

If there's a list for words that should be erased from usage, (or at least put in time out) maybe there should also be a list of words we'd like to ADD to common usage...

Like some of these:

Carcolepsy: an affliction that makes some people fall asleep as soon as the car starts moving. 

Cellfish: people who are more interested in their phones than they are with the people who are right there with them.

Askhole: Someone who asks an endless string of stupid, pointless, and obnoxious questions just to hear the sounds of their own voices.

Exhaustipated: too tired to give a crapola

Carcheologist: The person who has to dig out all the crap that's hidden in and under the car seats.

                                               Nostrildamas: Someone with a real... nose for the news. 



                                                 Until next time, take care of yourselves. And each other.


[image courtesy of unsplash]




56 comments:

  1. Exhaustipated I love.
    I would abolish 'honestly speaking' and 'to tell you the truth' because the people who use them are lying like pigs in mud.
    I hope you and smarticus are doing well.

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    1. I think that's probably my favorite, too, because some days, I can reeeeeeally relate! :)

      Good ones. They'd kinda fall into the preface, "Not to be be nosy..." or "I don't want to hurt your feelings, but..."

      Thanks. We're hanging in there.

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  2. Some great words there. My fave today is 'cellfish'. I would perhaps extend it to 'cellfish zombies' for those people who walk around blind to everything and everybody else....Hugs, Valerie

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    1. YES! You're right about "cellfish zombies." That's exactly what they act like.

      Hugs back atcha.

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  3. Hi Susan - surprisingly I can think of nothing off the top of my head ... probably need to wait til I hear some news, or see it ... but wonderful words and can quite see why they should be consigned to the bin. Way too many made up words now ... I suspect something will come to mind later on and then I'll be back. What a fun idea - thanks for the 'sad amusement' post for today!! Hope all well - cheers Hilary

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    1. Hi-ya, Hilary. Yeah, there are a lot of "made-up" words nowadays. The way so many people slap an "ize" on a noun's behind and use it as a verb drives me nuts, but it's become so common, those hybrid words are even used on TV, newspapers, and magazines Now. I guess if it happens enough, the words will eventually make in into the OED.

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  4. I can think of a few that have arisen from this PC culture. I'll play it safe and say the word feels.

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  5. My granddaughters are always introducing me to new words. They are often abbreviations or a word made into another meaning which I have no clue why. The words last about a nanosecond, so there is no need to remember them. Besides, I am from the “cool” era and that never got old.

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    1. Yeah, those texting-type abbreviations are too much, aren't they? With as "wordy" as I am, I'd never cut it as a texter.

      Yep, "cool" still serves me well. I may not BE cool, but I sure use the word a lot.

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  6. I loved this post! It's one of my pet peeves too! My grandchildren always call me a Boomer and when I ask what it means - they fall on the floor laughing!
    But I'm am more interested in the words that need to be invented.
    I love this:
    "We need a word for the mental suffering that results from someone else’s misuse of a word or phrase in one’s presence, the distress being magnified by an abiding sense of politeness that precludes correcting the other person". There ain't a word yet!
    I can't remember the word but someone once came up with a word for an immigrant to the UK who changes their name to sound more British but goes too far! EG: They change their name from, say, Goldschmidt to Horsebox...
    CLICK HERE for Bazza’s hopelessly habit-forming Blog ‘To Discover Ice’

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    1. Well, there certainly should be a word for that, shouldn't there? I bet we could come up with something... how about "lexineuralgia" or "malapropaphobia"?

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  7. Oh, I love "cellfish" and "askhole"! :)

    I think I'll just continue to go my usual way of keeping quiet more often than not, at least with people I don't know well. Much less risk of saying the "wrong" thing that way.

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    1. I dunno why, but your comment reminds me of that quote along the lines of "It's better to remain quiet and be thought the fool than to speak and remove all doubt." I'm not that reticent, unfortunately. (I talk too much!)

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  8. Hi Susan.
    I had a good laugh here today.
    My favorite word is: cellfish. I'll take it with me.

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    1. Hi-ya, Ana. Good! I'm glad you enjoyed it, and you're welcome to take any of the words you'd like. (There's lots more where they came from!)

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  9. So many words, my mind is a whirl. It would okay with me, if all the bad and mean words were deleted. A good word on the other hand is never wasted.

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    1. Me, too. I'd like all the hate-filled words to disappear, too. Unfortunately, getting rid of the words wouldn't erase the hatred. Those who are determined to feel hatred would still find a way to express their feelings.

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  10. Loving that meditating pooch! "Carcolepsy" -- that's me. Unfortunately, it's also my hubby. After a big Cracker Barrel breakfast, we have to try extra hard not to nod off on the way home.

    I'm sure a candidate will come to me later today, but all I can think of right now (to eliminate) is "Not my circus, not my monkey." That was a favorite of my not-so-favorite boss.

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    1. Carcolepsy can be kinda funny...until the one driving gets a case of it, too. NOT a good plan.


      "Not my circus, not my monkey" is something my hubby says from time to time, but I imagine it'd be pretty annoying to hear on a steady basis.

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  11. Ugg I have seen so many people on instagram use influencer and they have maybe 100 followers. Who are you going to influence? The bots or fake followers you got? Dumb!

    Discombobulate is a fun one. I tend to lean a little toward wanker. It's just fun to say. Even taught my 2 year old nephews it, their mother and nanny aren't very happy hahahaha whoops.

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    1. Ah HA! Since I'm not on Instagram, that would explain why I've not encountered the word "influencer." Sounds like a made-upper to me.

      Yes! Wanker is funny funny word... but I can see why your nephew's caretakers aren't too thrilled with you teaching it to them. I betcha you laugh yourself silly every time they use it. (I would!)

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    2. lol yep, especially when they get it right and called one of my grandmother's friends a wanker. She really really is hahaha

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    3. HA! Absolutely... it's only funny when they use it "properly." My cousin's son had an amazing foul mouth as a toddler, but he always used the words right...

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  12. Hi,
    I follow you # 434 ,follow back?

    https://fashionisbiglove.blogspot.com/

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    1. Hi-ya. Welcome aboard! I'd be happy to return the favor.

      Delete
  13. I do appreciate what you are saying in this post, friend Sue. But as an immigrant I also know about my limited knowledge of nuances, levels and deeper meanings of words. I guess what I am trying to say is this: If you are not born into a culture … make no mistake … you do not ever belong … so it's best to practise respect … I'm saying this cuz this applies to all cultures trying to communicate. The "universal melting pot" myth is just that, a myth. Anyway … smiles … Love, cat.

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    1. Without a doubt, as much as I enjoy the English language, I'm also verrrry grateful that it's my native tongue. The nuances and mixed meanings of words that I find so delightful now would surely be a nightmare to learn as a second language. It hurts my heart to hear the melting pot concept doesn't ring true for you, but deep down inside, I suspect this may be true for more immigrants that we'd like to admit.

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  14. I would like to see the end of "at this point in time" and have it replaced with "now", or perhaps "right now", also "years of age" can be tossed out the window.

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    1. Good ones! I also dislike "any way, shape, or form." I mean, really? Couldn't ONE of those words get the meaning across all by itself?

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  15. Askhole is classic hahaha. I totally want to start using that, and I can already think of a few people I know who fit the bill.

    I always love these lists but missed this latest one. Influencer is probably my top choice to go. I hadn't heard of mouthfeel and kind of wish I still hadn't LOL. :)

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    1. Unfortunately, I think we all know more than one askhole. :) Oh, and kids don't count... they get a free pass for asking a lot of questions.

      I never heard anyone say "influencer," so it never got an opportunity to irritate me. Not sure about "mouthfeel." Maybe that's a term they use on some of the cooking shows...?

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  16. My brain is to tired to think of any words but LOVED this post.
    parsnip

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    1. Your brain's exhaustipated, eh? (Mine, too!)

      I'm glad you liked the post. :)

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  17. Good post, I loved it, it's great.
    I loved your post, I did not know your blog, do you want to follow us? You already tell me. Cheers

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    1. Hi-ya. Thanks for visiting and taking the time to leave a comment. I'll be right over to return the favor... :)

      Sure, I'd be happy to be your newest groupie. Nice to meetcha.

      Cheers back atcha.

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  18. excellent post and funny. I get weary of work related words - our topic of the week is "decision rule". Yawn! Trust me - yawn! If we had a drink every time this comes up, we'd be on the floor.
    And now in honor of Super Bowl - "field presence". Yeah - the guy throws, this guy catches, and somebody runs. It's their job.
    Take care and don't be too exhaustipated.

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    1. Thanks! I'm glad ya liked it.

      Oh yeah, the workplace has a way of exposing us to a bunch of words we'd rather not "catch." Smarticus had one boss who delighted is saying weird stuff. Like, she never wanted to just "talk" to one of the engineers... she wanted to "interface." (Barf!)

      The thing with football that always cracks me up is the pre-game interview, when a coach or player is asked what they "have to do" to win. Um... make more points than the other team?

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  19. This is an interesting post with all these new words to learn! Thank you, Susan!

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  20. Great post, very interesting! :) I like OK, boomer hahah :D...btw, I followed you :) My blog is: https://whatafancyworldbylaura.blogspot.com :)

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    1. Thanks. You like "OK, boomer," eh? That tells me you aren't one. HA!

      Welcome aboard! Thanks for visiting and signing on as a follower. My turn to check out your digs.

      Delete
  21. Hi, nice post. I follow you #436 ,follow back?

    http://itsmetijana.blogspot.com/

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Thanks. I'm glad you liked it. Welcome aboard! I'd be happy to return the favor.

      Delete
  22. Hi, nice post. I follow you ,follow back?

    http://www.dlkgzr.com/

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    1. Thanks. Welcome aboard! Sure, I'd be happy to reciprocate.

      Delete
  23. Boomers deserve it. They started it by making fun of the young ones. I think kids today are just fine. No need to call them names and not expect them to hit back.

    My least favorite word is shut up. I'll let my kids get away with F bombs before I'll tolerate a shut up. It's so rude. Oh, and I hate you. That's banned here.

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    1. Nuh-uh. ALL Boomers don't deserve anything. Nor does any other generation... :)

      My kids and older grandchildren drop so many F-bombs, I think I've grown immune to them. Agreed about "I hate you" and "shut up." They're just mean.

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  24. I wish they would bring back some words like whippersnapper and greenhorn. You don't hear things like pipsqueak much, either.

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    1. They're all great words, but hey! If you like 'em, why not use 'em? (I do!)

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  25. Great lists, and there are many you have mentioned that strike a nerve for me."Jelly" drives me crazy. One group of words that my husband and I have discussed is heard on numerous reality type television shows, "At the end of the day, it was an amazing adventure."

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    1. I don't think I've ever heard the word "jelly" to mean jealous, but it would definitely drive me nuts, too. Right up there with "cray-cray" for crazy. (Hearing that makes me GO crazy! HA)

      Yeah, I reckon the writers for those reality shows love wrapping themselves in warm fuzzy tripe. The triter, the better.

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