Waurika News-Democrat, Okla., Jeff Kaley column
WAURIKA, Jan 23, 2013 (Waurika News-Democrat - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) --
In the continuing effort to make this nation secure from international terrorism, we've become accustomed to having a conglomeration of agencies geared to keeping us safe.
You've got your Central Intelligence Agency, your Federal Bureau of Investigation and your National Security Agency. There's the Office of Homeland Security, Transportation Security Administration, Centers for Disease Control, Office of Immigration, Interpol and some other entities so secret we don't know their names. If we did, the government would have to kill us.
International terrorists are insidious in their intent to bring the USofA to its knees. Although these protection agencies are not real good about communicating with one another, in the long run they provide us some degree of security.
So, too, does Lake Superior State University.
See, terrorist tactics go beyond murdering innocent civilians in crowded market places, underwear bombs and other tragic, vicious acts of violence. The terrorists want to destroy our culture from within, and one way to do that is to clog everyday interpersonal communication with misused, overused and generally useless words and phrases that degrade our language.
That's where Lake Superior State University becomes vital in the national security effort.
Since 1976, LSSU has released its List of Words Banished from the Queen's English for Misuse, Overuse and General Uselessness. It's the Michigan college's contribution to elevating public discourse and frustrating the terrorists' attempts to cheapen our culture. (Like, we need their help )
On the 2013 list recently released, LSSU has drawn attention to a dozen words and phrases that should be cast off the "fiscal cliff" as quickly as you can say "double down," before they reduce our language to a "trending" mass of "boneless wings."
OK, you've already caught on to a few words and phrases on LSSU's 2013 list, which makes you a "guru" of the obvious.
Here's some of the list LSSU suggests should be "passionately" banned:
- Fiscal cliff: A metaphor for a financial crisis that's so overused -- especially by politicians and the media -- it will eventually drive many of us to take a giant leap.
- Kick the can down the road: Another politically-spawned phrase, it means somebody is neglecting responsibilities. And the more you hear the phrase, the more you want to kick somebody's can -- preferably a politician's.
- Double down: A blackjack term turned into a verb. Hit me. Hit me again. Hit me once more. Busted!
- Passion/passionate: Never have so many been so passionately in a state of passion over an issue or something they find interesting or important.
- YOLO: Blame Twitter for an irritating way to acknowledge "you only live once."
- Bucket list: OK, I'm guilty of using this phrase too often, but it's on my bucket list to never utter bucket list again.
- Trending: News flash -- this is really not a verb.
- Boneless wings: How about, "random chunks of chicken "
- Guru: Use this to describe yourself and you're being extremely pretentious, in a non-transendental way.
The other 2013 banned words or phrases are: "jobs creators/creation," "spoiler alert" and "superfood."
Thanks to Lake Superior State University for leading the struggle against word terrorism. But as you might expect, I've got a couple suggestions for the 2014 banishment bucket list.
The phrases "That's what I'm talkin' about" and "I'm just sayin'" should have been torched long ago.
"That's what I'm talkin' about" is nothing more than an ego stroke for the user, who actually got something right -- probably for the first time. "I'm just sayin'" indicates the listener is too dense to catch the speaker's drift the first time they said it.
All oh-so-cool sports media announcers and commentators must exorcise the metaphor "pick six" from their lexicon. The phrase has also begun to show up in sports print journalism. Look, an interception returned for a touchdown is just, well, an interception returned for a touchdown.
War on Terror Oh, c'mon! It's a War on Terrorism or a War on Terrorists.
And something has to be done about "efforting." Not only is "efforting" not a verb, IT'S NOT A WORD!
When I hear someone say they are "efforting," it makes me want to make an effort to assist them by kicking their can off the fiscal cliff.
-- Jeff Kaley is managing editor of the News-Democrat
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