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Words they wish would go missing

January 01, 2007|From Associated Press

DETROIT — Lake Superior State University on Sunday released its annual "List of Words and Phrases Banished from the Queen's English for Misuse, Overuse and General Uselessness."

The university, which has been compiling the list since 1976, chose 16 words or phrases from about 4,500 nominations.

"Truthiness," the word popularized by Comedy Central satirist Stephen Colbert, was deemed worn-out by the university even though it was selected as the word that best summed up 2006 in a survey by dictionary publisher Merriam-Webster.

The drug company mantra "Ask your doctor" was decried as "the chewable vitamin morphine of marketing."

Combined celebrity names such as TomKat drew scorn. "It's so annoying, idiotic and so lame and pathetic that it's "lamethetic.' "

Real estate listings were targeted for the overuse of "boast." The "master bedroom boasts his-and-hers fireplaces -- never 'bathroom apologizes for cracked linoleum.' "

The phrase "gone/went missing" was skewered on the grounds that "it makes 'missing' sound like a place you can visit, such as the Poconos. Is the person missing or not?"

Also on the list: "Gitmo"; "awesome"; "pwn" or "pwned," a misspelling of "own" used by online video gamers; "now playing in theaters"; "we're pregnant"; "undocumented alien"; "armed robbery/drug deal gone bad"; "chipotle"; "i-anything"; "healthy food"; and "search" (on its way to uselessness because it has been replaced by "Google").

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