Tuesday, 5 January 2010

Wielding the language axe and banishing words

So while I was blogging about the logos Language Log was busy pointing to (in a rather non-committal sort of way) the Lake Superior State University's annual list of banished words.

Word "czars" at Lake Superior State University "unfriended" 15 words and phrases and declared them "shovel-ready" for inclusion on the university's 35th annual List of Words Banished from the Queen's English for Mis-use, Over-use and General Uselessness.

"The list this year is a 'teachable moment' conducted free of 'tweets,'" said a Word Banishment spokesman who was "chillaxin'" for the holidays. "'In these economic times', purging our language of 'toxic assets' is a 'stimulus' effort that's 'too big to fail.'"

Germany has a Wort and Unwort des Jahres in a similar way to the American Dialect Society's vote on Words of the Year in various categories. Interestingly Austria has different Wort and Unwort des Jahres to Germany and I really rather like "Analogkäse" - a truly splendid Unwort.

So which words do you want to unfriend?
As a reviser and editor of course I have to own up to banishing words with my red pen all day long. Such is life.