December 31, 2008

The List of Words to Be Banished from the Queen's English for Mis-use, Over-use and General Uselessness.

The proclamation has come down. You can no longer use "maverick," "from Wall Street to Main Street," "desperate search," "monkey" (the suffix), "game-changing," "carbon footprint," "winner of five nominations," "green," "going green," "first dude," "staycation." Probably a lot more. I'm culling these words from a tediously written article, when I just want to see the list, because I can't get to the official website.


rhhardin said...

``Melancholy and sadness are the start of doubt, as it is; doubt is the beginning of despair; despair is the cruel beginning of the differing degrees of wickedness. To convince yourself of this, read the _Confessions of a child of the century_. The slope downhill is fatal once one is committed to it. It is certain to lead to wickedness. Beware of the slope. Rip out evil by the root. Do not indulge the cult of adjectives such as indescribable, inenarrable, rutilant, incomparable, colossal, which shamelessly lie to the nouns they distort: they are pursued by lewdness.

rhhardin said...


uquote, Lautreamont.

wgh said...

Good call on "carbon footprint." I hated that the first time I heard it. But "monkey" as a suffix? At which Internet is this rampant?

Richard Fagin said...

What, the thoughtless, incurious, puerile, race-baiting, scientifically illiterate so-called "journalists" in the media spent all this time using the words on the List of Words to Be Banished until they became more than a bit annoying, and now these same people want them banned? What gives?

MayBee said...

I vote for doing away with "transformational".

Palladian said...

I nominate "Hope" and "Change" but once Obama's in office you'll never hear them again anyway.

tim maguire said...

Good one Fagin--for god's sake, please add "incurious" to the list of stupid words people need to stop using.

I've never heard "first dude" and would be pleased if this is its only appearance in my life. "Staycation" I may have seen once and probably thought it was a good word, but now that I've seen it twice, I'm tired of it.

I like monkey, surrender-monkey, grease-monkey. Is there any way we can keep it?

Tibore said...

""If I see one more corporation declare itself 'green,' I'm going to start burning tires in my backyard," wrote Ed Hardiman of Bristow, Va., in his submission."


Dust Bunny Queen said...

Double Amen on banning "green". It makes me want to break mercury laden light bulbs set plastic milk jugs on fire.

Please add to the list, if not already there:

"at the end of the day" stop, just stop saying this mindless phrase.

"paradigm shift"

"meltdown" as applied to the economy

"pushing the envelope"

Peter Hoh said...

"too clever by half"

"a feature, not a bug"

MadisonMan said...

"a feature, not a bug"

You are not a programmer.

I agree that anything with green or carbon footprint/neutrality should be axed, as they've been overused to the point of meaningless anyway. As is typical for any buzzword onto which Madison Avenue grabs.

One Fine Jay said...

I disagree with "first dude." "Dude" is no longer Skateboard Engligh, in fact it is one of the few remarkable words where both parties, on diction alone, can engage in conversation using that word alone.


KCFleming said...

God in heaven, I beg of you, please destroy the following words:

“Core competency”
“Get on the same page”
"low-hanging fruit"
and (aaaarrgghhh) “Thinking outside the box” (It burns!)

Please crush the bones of these phrases into dust:
"jingle mail"
"killer apps"

Dear Lord, help us to drown the thunder of the buzzwords with the shrieks of their wounded, writhing in pain; help us to lay waste their humble aphorisms with a hurricane of fire; help us to wring the hearts of their unoffending journalists with unavailing grief.

Thank you. Amen.

blake said...


Those words have all been on previous "banned" lists, suggest that, perhaps, the banners don't have the power they fancy.


KCFleming said...


Clearly not yet ready for removal, "smash-mouth" stays!

smash-mouth: Smash-mouth football has been around for ages, but the XFL brought the term back into vogue. In the past year, there have been references to smash-mouth poetry, smash-mouth politics, smash-mouth sarcasm, smash-mouth advertising, etc.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Those words have all been on previous "banned" lists, suggest that, perhaps, the banners don't have the power they fancy