An annual list from Lake Superior State University tells us which words or phrases were among this year’s least popular.
LSSU’s “List of Words Banished from the Queen’s English for Mis-Use, Over-Use, and General Uselessness” has been released in time for the New Year every year since 1976.
LSSU’s John Shibley helped compile the list this year. He says the university takes nominations from the public to determine which words should be banished.
“One phrase that’s floated to the top since October, during the Senatorial race and debates out in Nevada is ‘man up.’ ‘Harry Reid had to man up,’ is what Sharon Angle said, so that’s floating to the top. And a lot of nominators think that’s sort of sexist, even considering that a woman said it to a man during a debate.”
Shibley says election years generally provide a lot of good material for the banished words list. He says another popular nomination were some terms made infamous by Sarah Palin.
“‘Momma grizzly,’ related to Sarah Palin. Another word, or Palinism — which is another word that’s been nominated as well, Palinism — but, ‘refudiate.'”
Words made popular in social networking and text messaging received a lot of nominations, too, according to Shibley.
“‘Facebooking,’ using Facebook to keep in touch is ‘Facebooking,’ and the horror of horrors — if you’re ever ‘defriended,’ [and] ‘K,’ just the letter K, for ‘okay’ or ‘I agree with you.’ K, capitol K.”
“Defriended” of course referring to someone severing Facebook ties, Shibley says.