ibnlive » World

'Awesome' stuff 'go missing' in '06

ibnlive.com
Jun 15, 2007 at 07:21pm IST

New Delhi: "Healthy food" is now banned. And if your next-door neighbour still "boasts" of the "awesome" stuff that he keeps at home, don't forget to tell him he is passé now.

Similarly, expect things like "Gitmo", "now playing in theaters", "we're pregnant", "search", "truthiness" and even "search" to "go missing" from public domain this year just like "breaking news" did in 2006 and "embedded journalist" and "smoking guns" disappeared in 2005.

For, all these words feature in the annual 'List of Words and Phrases Banished from the Queen's English for Mis-Use, Over-Use and General Uselessness'. This list is published every year by the Lake Superior State University on the basis of its annual language complaint list.

BANNED: As many as 16 English words and phrases were banished from the Queen's English by Lake Superior State University in 2006.

Apparently "awesome" was found to be a much-abused word last year as were the combined celebrity names – like TomKat, Brangelina and FedEx. So, Lake Superior State University has decided that people can't take it anymore.

In fact, they say combining celebrity names is 'so lame and pathetic that it's 'lamethetic'. "We'll have to add that word to next year's list!" it said.

The list, which has a total of 16 words, includes apart from the ones listed above "Pwn or pwned", a misspelling of "own" used by online video gamers; "Undocumented alien"; "Armed robbery gone bad or drug deal gone bad"; "Ask your doctor"; "Chipotle" and "I - anything".

The list of banned words is nothing formal and its effect is miniscule but for the fun element. And word watchers do care a bit about it. "Sometimes people write us and tell us, 'This isn't working'," says Tom Pink, the spokesman for Superior State University. "I tell them we need an enforcement division."

Through the years, LSSU has received thousands of nominations for its 'all-time' list of banished words and phrases, which is now to set to touch 1,000. This year the website received over 4,500 nominations.

Last year, the university banished the all-famous 'breaking news' because "once breaking news stopped presses, but now it's an intestinal condition brought about by eating dinner during newscasts." The year before the most over-used and misused word to be banished was "embedded journalist". Iraq wartime words like "smoking gun", "shock and awe" and "shots rang out" too met the same fate.

"Metrosexual", an urban male who pays too much attention to his appearance, disappeared in 2005. Some other words that have gone into oblivion in the recent times include "place stamp here"; "97 percent fat free"; "adventures in delusion"; "an accident that didn't have to happen"; "wardrobe malfunction"; "webinar" meaning web seminar and "zero percent financing". And don't be surprised to know that even the word "blog" has since been deleted from the LSSU dictionary.

Latest

More from this section