Skip Navigation
NPR News
Be gone! (NPR)

Good Riddance! 'Fiscal Cliff' Tops List Of 'Words To Be Banished'

Dec 31, 2012

Share this


Oh, if only someone could enforce this "edict."

Michigan's Lake Superior State University is out with its 38th "List of Words to be Banished from the Queen's English for Misuse, Overuse and General Uselessness," and right there at the top is a two-word combination that none of us in the media seem able to avoid, especially not today:

"Fiscal cliff."

The university, which collects nominations throughout the year, says "fiscal cliff" was the No. 1 suggestion. Among the comments it got from the public is this from "Donna" in Johnstown, N.Y.:

"Makes me want to throw someone over a real cliff."

Also making the 2012 list of words that ought to be banished:

— "Kick the can down the road."

— "Double down."

— "Job creators/creation."

— "Passion/passionate."

— "YOLO" ("you only live once").

— "Spoiler alert."

— "Bucket list."

— "Trending."

— "Superfood."

— "Boneless wings."

— "Guru."

The university has links to previous years' lists here. Alas, it appears the school's efforts have not succeeded, judging from some of the previous nominees that we still hear often or are too-often misused:

— 1976: "At this point in time."

— 1980: "Yuh Know" and "have a nice day."

— 1985: "Quality time."

— 1990: "Impact."

— 1994: "Paradigm."

— 1996: "Been there, done that."

— 2000: " 'E'-anything."

— 2007: "Awesome."

— 2008: "Perfect storm."

— 2010: "Bromance."

— 2011: "Viral."

Thoughts about other words or phrases that should be banned are welcome in the comments thread.

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Missing some content? Check the source: NPR
Copyright(c) 2014, NPR

Visitor comments

on:

NCPR is supported by:

This is a Visitor-Supported website.