List of "Banned Words" Includes "Too Big to Fail" and "In These Economic Times"

Friday, January 01, 2010 4 Comments

Pic credit: Chicken Talon


After thousands of nominations of words and phrases commonly used in marketing, media, technology and elsewhere, wordsmiths at Lake Superior State University on Thursday issued their 35th annual list of words that they believe should be banned.

Tops on the Michigan university's list of useless phrases was "shovel-ready." The term refers to infrastructure projects that are ready to break ground and was popularly used to describe road, bridge and other construction projects fueled by stimulus funds from the Obama administration.

Also making the list was "teachable moment."

"This phrase is used to describe everything from potty-training to politics. It's time to vote it out!" said one list contributor.

"Toxic assets," referring to financial instruments that have plunged in value, sickened list makers so much the phrase was added to the list, along with the tiresome and poorly defined "too big to fail" which has often been invoked to describe wobbly U.S. banks.

Similarly, "in these economic times" was deemed overdue for banishment due.

Also making the list -- "transparent/transparency," typically used, contributors said, when the situation is anything but transparent.

One list contributor wanted to know if there was an "app," short-hand for "application" popularized by the mobile iPhone's growing array of software tools, for making that annoying word go away.

And rounding out the list -- "czar" as in car czar, drug czar, housing czar or banished word czar.

"Purging our language of 'toxic assets' is a 'stimulus' effort that's 'too big to fail,'" said a university spokesman.

Whamp whhhhhhaaaaamp.

They also don't like "tweeting" nor "retweeting" so use the UberTwitter carefully, kids. As for shovel-ready, I think we've got three more years of that to look forward to... still waiting... with my shovel... any day now...

Jr Deputy Accountant

Some say he’s half man half fish, others say he’s more of a seventy/thirty split. Either way he’s a fishy bastard.


Anonymous said...

I would like to suggest "sustainable". Such a stupid f@ing word that nobody actually understands what it means.

Anonymous said...

Good example of why by the end of 2010 we'll all be paying for access to news agency articles that the less discerning 'blogger', instead of simply providing a link to or quoting from the original, cuts and pastes the text in its entirety.

Anon #2,

Yes, I'm sure the 23 hits this stupid article got on a slow news day will really affect MSM so profoundly that they have to start charging for content. Had anonymous critics actually clicked the link, they would see the entire article was not copy and pasted. Maybe that's asking too much?

Anonymous said...

"climate change"