It’s here! The Lake Superior State University 2014 List of Banished Words. Selfie was recognized as the winning word, receiving the most nominations during the year. After that, the order of finish is not clear, as two overused suffixes (-ageddon, -pocalypse) were grouped. Ditto two sports terms (adversity, fan base).
As in past years, the LSSU list includes comments/reasons from those who submitted the words (submit here). This year’s winners (or losers, if you prefer):
- Mister Mom
- ______ on steroids
- intellectually/morally bankrupt
- fan base
Selfie would be high on my personal list, but twerk/twerking would have to be Number One. I’d never heard the word (yes, I live in a cave) before Miley Cyrus did her vulgar routine at the VMA Awards, and now it inevitably produces a mental image of her disgusting behavior whenever I hear it. Hate the word. Hate Cyrus. Ugh, ugh, ugh!
I’d put twittersphere in the same class as blogosphere — silly and contrived, although of the two, it’s the more euphonious. Blog in all its forms is just plain ugly.
Yes, yes, do include the suffixes -ageddon (shouldn’t that be -mageddon?) and –pocalypse. Snowmageddon. Snowpocalypse. They were sort of clever the first time they were used, but once the media bandwagon starts rolling on something, there’s no stopping it.
Hashtag was a perfectly good alternate word for the pound symbol and the symbol has a specific purpose when used in tweets and elsewhere, but I flatly reject its use as a word in a conversation. Not that I’d ever be talking with anyone who speaks that way. “Did you see Sylvia’s new dress? Hashtag gross!”
The rest of the list strikes me as words that have been around for a number of years and were probably nominated by people who, for one reason or another, were just becoming aware of them. Or maybe somebody was just having a bad day.
The first banished list was issued on New Year’s Day 1976 as a publicity stunt for the little-known university. It turned into an annual event, with a new list released every January 1. Suggestions include pet peeves from everyday speech as well as from news, education, technology, advertising, politics and more, submitted throughout the year by people like me whose last nerve gets frayed by overused and misused words and phrases. A panel selects the top words in late December.
Last year’s list:
- fiscal cliff
- kick the can down the road
- double down
- job creators/creation
- YOLO (You Only Live Once)
- spoiler alert
- bucket list
- boneless wings
I wrote more about past lists in This year’s banished words, phrases.