Lake Superior State University recently released its list of banished words for 2013. In the spirit of all things annoying, I asked some of my colleagues to think of their own list of banished words or phrases. This is what we came up with.
On paper, this worn-out word is an eyesore. In speech, it's an earsore. On the universal scale of ugly, "eyesore" is at one end and "ugh" is at the other. Let's try to use some of those words in the middle first like, "unattractive" or "run down" before we automatically leap to "eyesore."
It is what it is
This phrase is used by people who don't like the solution to a problem but cannot think of a better one. The tautology of the century, it may be the most overused phrase in American culture. But hey, it is what it is.
Stakeholders used to be a word reserved for people who had actual shares in something or were directly affected by it: parents are stakeholders in their children's schools, actual shareholders are stakeholders in a company. But these days, a guy who occasionally rides his mountain bike is a stakeholder in the state's parks and recreation system. It's time to stop the madness.
As in, "We're going to be reaching out to some stakeholders to discuss the eyesore downtown."
This one made both the LSSU list and this list, for being the most over-used phrase in 2012 politics. When someone says "job-creator," I think I'm supposed to imagine some guy sitting in his basement workshop, molding beautiful jobs out of clay. But what I actually think of is someone sitting on a yacht somewhere, talking away on a cell phone while smoking a cigar that cost more than my paycheck is worth. The "job-creators" so oft referred to this election cycle are not your friendly, neighborhood business owners - the people who actually do create jobs with their entrepreneurial endeavors. The "job-creators" touted by our political leaders are unimaginably loaded corporations. Please, let's stop calling corporations, and the people who run them, job-creators and start calling them what they are - filthy rich and unwilling to pay taxes.
Anything that comes
after a hashtag
I just learned last year what a hashtag was, and it didn't take me long to figure out I didn't like the concept. I can't even begin to explain how much I loathe Twitter. Try, in 140 characters or less, to produce something clever and funny and more up-to-date than whatever your followers tweeted 20 seconds ago. Because really, what we need in 2013 is to degrade the English language even further. How about fewer hashtags and more Shakespeare?
This phrase appears to have become more popular in 2012 - probably because of Twitter. It's often used as a way to make a derogatory statement no longer offensive. For example one person could say to another, "You stink at driving. Just sayin'." By adding the "just sayin'" on the end, it's supposed to lessen the blow. But if I punch you in the face, and follow that up with "Just punchin' you in the face," does that somehow make it OK? No. No it does not. Just sayin'.
EDITOR'S NOTE: Jackie Stark is a Chocolay Township resident and a staff reporter at The Mining Journal. Her column appears bi-weekly. She can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 242. Her email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.