AP News article: Linguists Release Banished Words for 2004

Drew Danielson andrew.danielson at CMU.EDU
Thu Jan 1 00:37:46 UTC 2004

List of Banished Words:

Linguists Release Banished Words for 2004

Wed Dec 31, 1:02 PM ET
By SARAH KARUSH, Associated Press Writer

Calling all metrosexuals: Get rid of that bling-bling — or at least find
another word for it. In its annual compilation of language irritants,
Lake Superior State University singled out 17 words and phrases that it
says ought to be banned as overused, trite, euphemistic or just plain
inaccurate. The 2004 losers were chosen by a university committee from
more than 5,000 nominations from around the world.

"Metrosexual" topped the list. Coined in 1994 by British journalist Mark
Simpson, the term refers to urban, usually heterosexual men with a keen
interest in fashion, shopping and elaborate grooming.

But to Bob Forrest of Tempe, Ariz., one of many to nominate the term for
banishment, it "sounds like someone who only has sex downtown or on the
subway." Fred Bernardin of Arlington, Mass., asked, "Aren't there enough
words to describe men who spend too much time in front of the mirror?"

As for "punked" — or "punk'd," as the MTV prank show spells it — the
committee defined it as "bamboozled, duped, flimflammed, hornswoggled."

"Bling-bling," a term for flashy jewelry or other luxury goods, made its
way into the mainstream from rap music. Said Todd Facklas of Chicago:
"Yes, your mom might say it. Nothing could kill the mystique of a word

The war in Iraq (news - web sites) also produced a few entries on the list.

"I'm just waiting on `Shock and Awe Laundry Soap' or maybe `Shock and
Awe Pool Cleaner,'" said Joe Reynolds of Conroe, Texas.

Sault Ste. Marie, Mich.-based Lake Superior State has been compiling its
"List of Words Banished from the Queen's English for Mis-Use, Over-Use
and General Uselessness" since 1976 to draw publicity to the small
academic outpost. Past lists have lamented such words as "chad" (2001),
"paradigm" (1994), "baby boomers" (1989) and "detente" (1976).

The 2004 list of words that should be banished for "misuse, overuse and
general uselessness," according to Lake Superior State University:

Metrosexual: An urban male who pays a great deal of attention to
X: As in "X-Files," Xtreme, Windows XP (news - web sites) and X-Box.
Punked: To dupe, popularized by the MTV show "Punk'd."
Place Stamp Here: Printed on return envelopes.
Companion animals: Also known as pets.
Bling or Bling-Bling: Flashy jewelry.
LOL: E-mail speak for "laugh out loud."
Embedded Journalist.
Smoking Gun.
Shock and Awe.
Captured Alive.
Shots Rang Out.
Ripped From the Headlines.
Sweat Like a Pig: The problem is pigs don't sweat.
In Harm's Way.
Hand-Crafted Latte.
Sanitary Landfill: Also known as a dump

  _|  _  _         _
(_| |  (- \/\/ @ (_ |\/| (_|  When the only tool you have
     Drew.Danielson at CMU.edu     is a hammer, every problem
   http://pcdrew.ece.cmu.edu/   begins to resemble a nail.
                                          -- Abraham Maslow

More information about the Ads-l mailing list