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‘Viral’ Tops This Year’s List Of ‘Banished Words’

December 31, 2010

The word “viral” is the leader of this year’s list of “banished words” produced by a Michigan university.

The word garnered the majority of nominations for the annual list, which was released by Lake Superior State University on Friday.  The term is often used to describe popular one-hit wonders on YouTube.

“This linguistic disease of a term must be quarantined,” wrote Kuahmel Allah of Los Angeles after nominating “viral” for the university’s list.

“If one more thing goes viral, I’m buying a Hazmat suit and moving into a clean-room,” he said.

The university said that it receives over 1,000 submissions every year on its website for the list, which a public relations official started in 1976 in order to draw more attention to the school.

Viral was not the only digital-age term nominated.  The terms “Fail” and “BFF” made the 2011 list, which also included a proposal to stop using Facebook and Google as verbs.

The past nominations for the list have included “sexting,” “staycation” and “carbon footprint.”

Other entries for this year’s list included terms like “fail” or “epic.”

“Standards for using ‘epic’ are so low, even ‘awesome’ is embarrassed.” Mike of Kettering, Ohio wrote in his nomination.

Several people tried vetoing the phrase “The American People” as well.

“No one in Washington can pontificate for more than two sentences without using it,” wrote Dick Hilker of Loveland, Colorado. “Beyond overuse, these people imply that ‘The American people’ want/expect/demand all the same things. They don’t.”

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