Overused Words? Not so much...

Lake Superior State University has come out with it's list of overused words for 2008. I'm still not clear on who appointed them the keeper of "overused" words or gave them a Royal Charter to banish them, but it seems all the news outlets are buying into it so let's take a quick peek at some of the words making their list:

  • Green
  • Carbon Footprint
  • Maverick
  • First Dude
  • Game Changer
  • Icon/Iconic
  • Staycation
  • Not so much
  • -monkey
That last one confused me. Supposedly, it is "overused" because it is appended to any normal word on the Internet to make it more interesting. Trouble is, I've never run across it. How is something "overused" when in hours and hours daily of reading websites I've never seen it enough to even notice its use?

Oh well. It's just that time of year again for a 3000 student college to make national headlines with a gimmick. In fact, the English faculty doesn't actually do the work it seems. They just get suggestions during the year from "Joe Six Pack" and then choose the ones they like.

Here are a few that are like nails on a chalkboard to me that managed not to make their list:

  • Allies - this is used in the LGBT community to indicate people who aren't LGBT who support our causes or people who are not members of some subset of the LGBT community who are attracted to others. For example: "LGBT Seniors and their allies", "Transgendered Widget Makers and their allies", etc.
  • Bradley Effect - I think that was pretty much put to bed and I hope never to hear it again.
  • Joe Six Pack - this derogatory and condescending term for blue collar workers needs to go away and never come back.
  • Real American - as opposed to the imaginary ones? Stupid political drivel at its worst.
  • Gifted and Talented - this one has been around forever it seems. It's applied now to almost any kid who shows a minor skill in any area. It should never have come into use in the first place because, face it, most of us are gifted or talented in some aspect of our lives or hobbies. Retire this one, please.
  • "Homosexual Rights"/"Admitted Homosexual" - used by right leaning newspapers and newscasters to emphasize that being gay has nothing to do with love or affection but just carnal desire. To LGBT folks it's sort of like an African-American picking up a paper and reading that "Barack Obama was just elected the first Negro President in history." What's even more funny are the papers that automatically substitute "homosexual" for "gay" in wire stories and ended up reporting on "Tyson Homosexual" during the Olympics. Let it go folks, its antiquated and obvious what you're up to.
  • Illegal Aliens - They're people not ET from another planet. Get over it.
  • Undecideds - let's just call it what it is: Wishy-Washy.
  • Center Right/Center Left Nation - America is neither depending on where you happen to be standing at the moment. If you're in my living room American will seem very, very Left.
  • Post Partisan - this means nothing. There is no such thing otherwise there would be only one political party in the country.
  • Reach Across the Aisle - enough said. Isn't that the basis of our system of government? Why make a big deal of it? It's especially idiotic when it's applied to non-legislative decisions like Obama inviting Rick Warren. Last time I looked Warren wasn't a member of Congress and God willing he never will be!
I'm sure I could come up with more, but that's a nice start. Somehow none of these made the list at LSSU. Oh well, maybe when it's that time of year again they'll be real mavericks and game changers by adding some of my iconic choices to their list.

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