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University Recommends Terms That Should Be Banned

January 1, 2010

To those of you who are tweeting, sexting, or just chillaxin this holiday weekend, get ready: Fifteen popular overused and misused words and phrases are being targeted by a U.S. university’s annual list of terms that deserve to be banned.

Each year for the past 35 years, Lake Superior State University’s wordsmiths go over thousands of words nominated for the annual list that targets words commonly misused in marketing, media, technology and other areas.

On the list this year phrases relating to the Obama administration were targeted. The term “shovel-ready” was #1 on the list. The term refers to projects that are ready to break ground and was popularly used to describe construction projects fueled by the stimulus program. Obama-related terms that made the list included Obamacare and Obamanomics.

The LSSU committee says, “Obamanough already.”

“Sexting,” which is shorthand for sexy text messaging, also made the list. Similar words that appeared on the list included tweeting, retweeting and tweetaholics, all popular words associated with usage of the popular Twitter networking site. And with the popular term “friend” being used as a verb, as in: “Please friend me,” many people are now using the term “unfriended” as well, another word that makes the list.

Other words that should be banned, according to LSSU, are the words “chillaxin” (a combination of “chillin” and “relaxin”), and “bromance” (a term used by male acquaintances relating to their friendship).

Popular phrases that are being voted out by LSSU are “teachable moment” and “toxic assets.” “Toxic assets” is used to describe financial tools and investments that have plunged in value. Another term that list makers felt needed attention was the “too big to fail” phrase that had been used to describe unsteady U.S. banking institutions.

Other words found in the annual register are “transparent/transparency” (when used to describe a situation as anything but transparent), “app” (shorthand for application), “stimulus,” and “czar”.

One university spokesperson gave his two-cents on the matter, “Purging our language of “Ëœtoxic assets’ is a “Ëœstimulus’ effort that’s “Ëœtoo big to fail.”

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