2013 Banned Words List

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SPOILER ALERT: The following contains a list of banned words for 2013!

Michigan’s Lake Superior State University recently unveiled its 38th annual List of Words to be Banished from the Queen’s English for Misuse, Overuse and General Uselessness. Since 1976 , LSSU has issued the tongue-in-cheek decree filled with the year’s most tired and overused words and phrases.  According to the LSSU website, nominations are accepted throughout the year, where “word-watchers target pet peeves from everyday speech, as well as from the news, fields of education, technology, advertising, politics and more.” Check out the list below along with some funny comments from the nominators.

1. Fiscal cliff
Definition: A term used to describe the sharp decline in the budget deficit that could have occurred beginning in 2013 due to increased taxes and reduced spending as required by previously enacted laws.

“Continually referred to as ‘the so-called fiscal cliff,’ followed by a definition. How many times do we need to hear ‘fiscal cliff,’ let alone its definition? Please let this phrase fall off of a real cliff!” — Randal Baker, Seabeck, Wash.

2. Kick the can down the road
Definition: To procrastinate or defer in hopes that the issue will go away or someone else will make the decision later.

“I can’t turn on the TV any more without being informed that can-kicking has occurred. What’s wrong with the word ‘postpone’?” — Kathryn, West Chester, Ohio

3. Double down
Definition: To double one’s wager; to double or significantly increase a risk, investment, or other commitment.

“Better nip this in the bud – it’s already morphed into ‘quadruple down.'” — Marc Ponto, Milwaukee, Wisc.

4. Job creators/creation
Definition: Popular buzz words used in politics to describe the rich or wealthy employers.

“One of the most overplayed buzz terms of the 2012 presidential campaign. Apparently ‘lowering unemployment’ doesn’t have the same impact.” — Dennis Ittner, Torrance, Calif.

5. Passion/Passionate
Definition: Used to describe an emotion or intense devotion to something.

“My passion is (insert favorite snack food here). I’m passionate about how much I hate the words ‘passion’ and ‘passionate.’ Don’t wait for next year’s list!” — David Greaney, Bedford, NH

Definition: YOLO (acronym for “you only live once”) has become the “carpe diem” of today’s youth. The phrase was popularized by the song “The Motto” by Canadian rapper Drake.

“Used by wannabe Twitter philosophers who think they’ve uncovered a deep secret of life. Also used as an excuse to do really stupid things, such as streaking at a baseball game with YOLO printed on one’s chest. I only live once, so I’d prefer to be able to do it without ever seeing YOLO again.” — Brendan Cotter, Grosse Pte. Park, Mich.

7. Spoiler Alert
Definition: Computer slang term used to warn readers that the following text or discussion reveals crucial plot elements of a movie, TV show, book, etc.

“What was once a polite warning has turned into a declarative statement: I have just spoiled something for you. When news outlets print articles with headlines such as, ‘Huge upset in men’s Olympic swimming,’ with a diminutive ‘spoiler alert’ on the link to the rest of the article, I think it’s safe to say we’ve forgotten the meaning of the word ‘alert.'” — Afton, Portland, Ore.

8. Bucket list
Definition: A list of things that one has not done before but wants to do before dying. Comes from the phrase “kick the bucket” (to die).

“Getting this phrase on the Banished Word List is on my bucket list!” — Frederick Fish, Georgia

9. Trending
Definition: Refers to a popular topic that is gaining a lot of discussion.

“A trend is something temporary, thank goodness; however, it is not a verb, and I’m tired of news stations telling me what trite ‘news’ is ‘trending.'” — Kyle Melton, White Lake, Mich.

10. Superfood
Definition: A term designating any natural food source that is highly concentrated, with a complex supply of quality nutrients.

“It’s food. It’s either healthful or it’s not. There is no ‘super’ involved.” — Jason Hansen, Frederic, Mich.

11. Boneless Wings
Definition: Chunks of breaded chicken breast (in other words, not “wings” at all).

“Can we just call them chicken (pieces)?” — John McNamara, Lansing, Mich.

12. Guru
Definition: Originally a Sanskrit term for “teacher” or “master.” Nowadays, it refers to any intellectual, spiritual guide or leader.

“Unless you’re teaching transcendental meditation, Hinduism or Buddhism, please don’t call yourself a guru just because you think you’re an expert at something. It’s silly and pretentious. Let other people call you that, if they must.” — Mitch Devine, Rancho Santa Margarita, Calif.

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