The ginormous number of irritatingly common, but not standard, words that pepper today’s conversations are amazing. Using them seems to be the new normal.
Listing them has become an annual task at Lake Superior State University, which just released its 37th “List of Words Banished from the Queen’s English for Misuse, Overuse and General Uselessness.”
Three of them can be found in the first paragraph of this editorial: ginormous, amazing and the new normal. A serving of red snapper can be delicious, but it is unlikely to be amazing, despite what diners say.
The national debt is giant or it is enormous. There is nothing extra to gain by calling it ginormous.
And saying underemployment is the new normal, well, it just doesn’t seem new at all.
Others on the list include baby bump, shared sacrifice, occupy, blowback, man cave, pet parent, win the future, trickeration and thank you in advance.
Thousands of words were submitted for consideration. And comments on the LSSU website indicate people don’t like them very much. So it is worth looking back to words and phrases deemed worthy of banishing. Some haven’t disappeared at all.
In 1997, one was as if. Speaker one: “I’m going to balance the budget.” Speaker two: “As if.”
In 1990, close proximity gave new meaning to redundancy.
To like someone in 1999 meant saying, You the man. In 1997, it was You go, girl.
And in 1988, it became nearly impossible to relate dialogue without saying he goes or she goes, or to end a sentence without saying Okay.
But what were the words in 1976 that were so annoying as to inspire the initial list?
That was the year that “now” fell out of favor and was replaced by at this point in time.
Options became viable. And dialogue had to be meaningful to have any value.
It was the year of macho men and all kinds of input.
The entire list can be found at lssu.edu/banished/complete_list.php.
It is what it is. (2008)
Yadda yadda yadda. (1998)