Tuesday, January 4, 2011

LSSU announces its annual list of banished words
2. epic

I'll agree with Lake Superior State University's banishment of the word “viral” but “epic” is classic. I'm just sayin'.

Albeit a small college in Sault Ste. Marie, Mich., LSSU is big on tradition. Since Jan. 1, 1976, when the school's former Public Relations Director Bill Rabe and a group of friends each contributed a few expressions that they disliked to form the first list, LSSU has released its "List of Words Banished from the Queen's English for Mis-use, Over-use and General Uselessness."

Among the words, utterances, phrases and tiresome tete-a-tete nominated to this year’s trash pile of linguistic duds, via the school’s website, are “viral,” often used to describe the rapid spreading of videos or other content over the Internet, and “epic,” as in a blunder of monumental proportions.

"The linguistic disease of a term must be quarantined," Kuahmel Allah of Los Angeles wrote in his submission. "If one more thing goes viral, I'm buying a Hazmat suit and moving into a clean-room." 

Lawrence Mickel of Coventry, Conn., seconded it: "Any mindless stunt or vapid bit of writing is sent by its creators whirling around the Internet and, once whirled, its creators declare it (trumpets here) 'viral’! Enough already!"

Not all phrases die quickly. "I'm just sayin’" was on death row for a number of years before coming up for banishment this year. Some words and phrases have even been known to come back to life. "Tweet" and "sexting" for example, made last year's list, and "LOL" was axed in 2004, yet all are still around.

Apparently the list "holds water" but is "taken with a grain of salt."

Is your word among the 14 chosen for 2011? Check out Lake Superior State University's List of Banished Words

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