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Fiscal Cliff, YOLO, Boneless Wings Among ‘Banished Words’

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SAULT STE. MARIE (WWJ) –  We’ve all about had it with the “fiscal cliff.”

That’s according to the word gurus  at Lake Superior State University who have deemed the term number one on their 2013 List of Words Banished from the Queen’s English for Misuse, Overuse and General Uselessness.

The list, compiled from nominations sent to LSSU throughout the year, is released each year on New Year’s Eve.

WWJ Newsradio 950 spoke with LSSU’s Tom Pink who said this year’s list-topper is not at all surprising.

“Fiscal cliff  … people are so tired of it. There are stories being written around it, you know, how to survive the fiscal cliff, five things you should know about the fiscal cliff,” Pink said.

The second most-nominated word or phrase was “kick the can down the road,” followed by double down, job creators/creation, passion/passionate, YOLO, spoiler alert, bucket list, trending, superfood, boneless wings and guru.

Fiscal cliff, kick the can down the road, double down, and job creation are all political terms, which Pink said came as expected. “Whenever you have a presidential election you see that,” he said.

(What IS the fiscal cliff?)

Here’s what some of the nominators had to say:

FISCAL CLIFF: “You can’t turn on the news without hearing this. I’m equally worried about the River of Debt and Mountain of Despair.” — Christopher Loiselle, Midland, Mich.

“(We’ve) lost sight of the metaphor and started to think it’s a real place, like with the headline, ‘Obama, Boehner meeting on fiscal cliff’.” — Barry Cochran, Portland, Ore.

“If only those who utter these words would take a giant leap off of it.” — Joann Eschenburg, Clinton Twp., Mich.

KICK THE CAN DOWN THE ROAD: “Usually used in politics, this typically means that someone or some group is neglecting its responsibilities. This was seized upon during the current administration and is used as a cliché by all parties…Republicans, Democrats, Independents, Libertarians, Tories, Whigs, Socialists, Communists, Fashionistas…” — Mike Cloran, Cincinnati, Ohio

“I would definitely like to kick some cans of the human variety every time I hear politicians use this phrase to describe a circumstance that hasn’t gone their way.” — Christine Tomassini, Livonia, Mich.

DOUBLE DOWN: “This blackjack term is now used as a verb in place of ‘repeat’ or ‘reaffirm’ or ‘reiterate.’ Yet, it adds nothing. It’s not even colorful. Hit me!” — Allan Ryan, Boston, Mass.

“Better nip this in the bud – it’s already morphed into ‘quadruple down.’” — Marc Ponto, Milwaukee, Wisc.

JOB CREATORS/CREATION: “It implies supernatural powers — such as the ability to change the weather or levitate. Most new jobs pay less than the lost jobs to ensure stratospheric CEO compensation and nice returns on investments. I respectfully propose a replacement term that is more accurate — job depleters.” — Mark Dobias, Sault Ste. Marie, Mich.

“It’s been over-used and pigeon-holed into political arguments left, right, and center to the point that I don’t believe it has any real meaning.” — Adam Myers, Cumming, Ga.

PASSION/PASSIONATE:  “Seared tuna will taste like dust swept from a station platform – until it’s cooked passionately. Apparently, it’s insufficient to do it ably, with skill, commitment or finesse. Passionate, begone!” — Andrew Foyle, Bristol, UK

“My passion is (insert favorite snack food here). I’m passionate about how much I hate the words ‘passion’ and ‘passionate.’ Don’t wait for next year’s list! — David Greaney, Bedford, NH

YOLO: “Used by teens everywhere to describe an action that is risky or unconventional, yet acceptable because ‘you only live once.’ Who lives more than once?” — P.P., Los Angeles, Calif.

SPOILER ALERT: “Used as an obnoxious way to show one has trivial information and is about to use it, no matter what.” — Joseph Joly, Fremont, Calif.

BUCKET LIST: “Getting this phrase on the Banished Word List is on my bucket list!” – Frederick Fish, Georgia

TRENDING: “A trend is something temporary, thank goodness; however, it is not a verb, and I’m tired of news stations telling me what trite ‘news’ is ‘trending.’” — Kyle Melton, White Lake, Mich.

SUPERFOOD: “It’s food. It’s either healthful or it’s not. There is no ‘super’ involved. — Jason Hansen, Frederic, Mich.

BONELESS WINGS: “Can we just call them chicken (pieces)?” — John McNamara, Lansing, Mich.

GURU: “Unless you’re teaching transcendental meditation, Hinduism or Buddhism, please don’t call yourself a guru just because you think you’re an expert at something. It’s silly and pretentious. Let other people call you that, if they must.” — Mitch Devine, Rancho Santa Margarita, Calif.

The banished words list dates back to Dec. 31, 1975, when former LSSU Public Relations Director Bill Rabe and some colleagues cooked up the whimsical idea to banish overused words and phrases from the language. They issued the first list on New Year’s Day 1976.

To submit your nomination for the 2014 list, go to www.lssu.edu/banished. Check out the compiled list to make sure your nomination hasn’t already been banished!

Any words you think were missed on this year’s list? Comment below.

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