JSU Newswire
Jacksonville, Alabama

Lake Superior State University Releases 2002 List of Banished Words

JACKSONVILLE -- June 14, 2002 -- Lake Superior State University in Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan recently released its 2002 list of words that should be banished. In its 27th year, the list cites words that should be banished from the "Queen's English for Mis-use, Over-use and General Uselessness." The list comes from hundreds of nominations received from all over the world.

The University forms a committee which evaluates the nominations and determines the list. Words can be from everyday speech, as well as news, education, technology, advertising, and politics.


  • DISENFRANCHISE - "The term has been frequently applied to describe voters who have experienced difficulty in following directions."
  • SURGICAL STRIKE - Over-used in the news media to describe bombing campaigns.
  • FRIENDLY FIRE - "Would unfriendly fire be less painful?"
  • BRING THEM TO JUSTICE or BRING THE EVIL-DOERS TO JUSTICE - "Practically every news reporter and our President has uttered these words. "
  • FAITH-BASED - "All it means is religious entities, but I presume 'faith-based organizations' will elicit less recoil."
  • BI-PARTISANSHIP - "Bipartisanship, to most politicians, only seems to happen when one side gets its way and the other goes along with it. I didn't vote for my guy to submit to the will of the opposing party. I want lots of partisanship!"
  • Anything modified by DOPPLER - "Stems from when TV newscasts began using new Doppler weather radar. Now 'doppler-fication' has become a badge of excellence with local newscasts, regardless of whether it involves weather. "
  • FRIG and FRIGGING - "A sneaky way of getting a version of the dreaded 'F' word on the radio and TV. Is there anything one can't say on the airwaves these days? "
  • NINE-ELEVEN (9-11) and its variations -- "Last year, we had Y2K and 24-7. This year, we have 9-11. This new digital language (digitalk?) should be banned no later than 1-1-Y2K-2…Do we refer to the Chicago Fire as 10-8 because it occurred on Oct. 8, 1871? How about the sinking of the Titanic - it is not called 4-14. A tragic event of such proportion should not be confused with a telephone number. The name will be remembered as long as there are people who can read."
  • IF…THEN THE TERRORISTS WIN or THE TERRORISTS WILL HAVE WON - "The phrase makes a mockery of those extremely tragic events of that day."

  • BRAINSTORM/BRAINSTORMING - "Bureaucrats and bosses often use it to sound hip instead of dry. "
  • SYNERGY - "It's a blanket term used by people so they won't have to actually articulate their business case in a meaningful way."
  • RAMP UP - Often used to suggest an increase in productivity or your product's effectiveness. "Whatever happened to the word 'increase'?
  • EDGY - "Supposedly referring to creative work that is provocative and interesting"
  • INFOMMERCIAL - "If a commercial lasts for 30 minutes, it's a PROGRAM.
  • MAKING MONEY -- Counterfeiters make money. Honest people earn it.
  • 'BOTS -- A fashionable construction that refers to robots.

  • FUNCTIONALITY -Product "upgrades" are said to feature "enhanced functionality."
  • KILLER APP -- Used to describe an outstanding computer program.
  • SOLUTIONS -- "Problems demand solutions; needs demand fulfillment."

  • REALITY TV and REALITY-BASED TV -- "Banish the words, banish the shows, and banish the people who came up with the idea for the shows, because there is nothing real about this form of television."
  • CAR-JACKING - "It's called armed robbery."
  • IN THE WAKE OF… What was ever wrong with the word "after"?
  • NO-BRAINER -- "Who doesn't have the brain in this transaction, you or me?"

  • ATHLETICISM - Instead of saying that an athlete is very good.
  • RUN THE TABLE - Sneaking into sports programming to refer to "winning all games." It's football, not Casino Royale.

  • SWORN AFFIDAVIT - "If it is not sworn, it is not an affidavit."
  • POSSIBLE CHOICES - "No need to include the impossible choices, I'm sure."
  • FOREWARN - "But if not, then warn after the fact."
  • UNPRECEDENTED NEW - "Not to be confused with the unprecedented old one."
  • RENAME IT SOMETHING ELSE - "Be sure not to rename it the same name."
  • DELAY DUE TO AN EARLIER ACCIDENT - "Now in standard use…As distinguished from the delay caused by an accident yet to occur."
  • FORESEEABLE FUTURE - Just how long is foreseeable?
To submit your nomination for the 2003 list, go to www.lssu.edu/banished.


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